bims-mibica Biomed News
on Mitochondrial bioenergetics in cancer
Issue of 2021‒07‒25
thirty-five papers selected by
Kelsey Fisher-Wellman
East Carolina University

  1. Redox Biol. 2021 Jul 11. pii: S2213-2317(21)00224-X. [Epub ahead of print]46 102065
      Although glucose, through pentose phosphate pathway (PPP), is the main source to generate NADPH, solid tumors are often deprived of glucose, hence alternative metabolic pathways to maintain NADPH homeostasis in cancer cells are required. Here, we report that lactate and glutamine support NADPH production via isocitrate dehydrogenase 1 (IDH1) and malic enzyme 1 (ME1), respectively, under glucose-deprived conditions. Isotopic tracing demonstrates that lactate participates in the formation of isocitrate. Malate derived from glutamine in mitochondria shuttles to cytosol to produce NADPH. In cells cultured in the absence of glucose, knockout of IDH1 and ME1 decreases NADPH/NADP+ and GSH/GSSG, increases ROS level and facilitates cell necrosis. In 4T1 murine breast tumors, knockout of ME1 retards tumor growth in vivo, with combined ME1/IDH1 knockout more strongly suppressing tumor growth. Our findings reveal two alternative NADPH-producing pathways that cancer cells use to resist glucose starvation, reflecting the metabolic plasticity and flexibility of cancer cells adapting to nutrition stress.
    Keywords:  Glucose deprivation; Glutamine; IDH1; Lactate; ME1; NADPH
  2. Cancers (Basel). 2021 Jul 13. pii: 3499. [Epub ahead of print]13(14):
      Oxidative metabolism is crucial for leukemic stem cell (LSC) function and drug resistance in acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Mitochondrial metabolism also affects the immune system and therefore the anti-tumor response. The modulation of oxidative phosphorylation (OxPHOS) has emerged as a promising approach to improve the therapy outcome for AML patients. However, the effect of mitochondrial inhibitors on the immune compartment in the context of AML is yet to be explored. Immune checkpoints such as ectonucleotidase CD39 and programmed dead ligand 1 (PD-L1) have been reported to be expressed in AML and linked to chemo-resistance and a poor prognosis. In the present study, we first demonstrated that a novel selective electron transfer chain complex (ETC) I inhibitor, EVT-701, decreased the OxPHOS metabolism of murine and human cytarabine (AraC)-resistant leukemic cell lines. Furthermore, we showed that while AraC induced an immune response regulation by increasing CD39 expression and by reinforcing the interferon-γ/PD-L1 axis, EVT-701 reduced CD39 and PD-L1 expression in vitro in a panel of both murine and human AML cell lines, especially upon AraC treatment. Altogether, this work uncovers a non-canonical function of ETCI in controlling CD39 and PD-L1 immune checkpoints, thereby improving the anti-tumor response in AML.
    Keywords:  AML; Immune checkpoints; OxPHOS
  3. Sci Rep. 2021 Jul 19. 11(1): 14726
      Despite progress in the use of hyperthermia in clinical practice, the thermosensitivity of cancer cells is poorly understood. In a previous study, we found that sensitivity to hyperthermia varied between ovarian and uterine cancer cell lines. Upon hyperthermia, glycolytic enzymes decreased in hyperthermia-resistant SKOV3 cells. However, the mechanisms of glycolysis inhibition and their relationship with thermoresistance remain to be explored. In this study, metabolomic analysis indicated the downregulation of glycolytic metabolites in SKOV3 cells after hyperthermia. Proteomic and pathway analyses predicted that the ubiquitin pathway was explicitly activated in resistant SKOV3 cells, compared with hyperthermia-sensitive A2780 cells, and STUB1, a ubiquitin ligase, potentially targeted PKM, a glycolytic rate-limiting enzyme. PKM is degraded via ubiquitination upon hyperthermia. Although glycolysis is inactivated by hyperthermia, ATP production is maintained. We observed that oxygen consumption and mitochondrial membrane potential were activated in SKOV3 cells but suppressed in A2780 cells. The activation of mitochondria could compensate for the loss of ATP production due to the suppression of glycolysis by hyperthermia. Although the physiological significance has not yet been elucidated, our results demonstrated that metabolomic adaptation from the Warburg effect to mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation could contribute to thermoresistance in ovarian and uterine cancer cells.
  4. Mol Cell. 2021 Jul 12. pii: S1097-2765(21)00507-4. [Epub ahead of print]
      Mutant isocitrate dehydrogenase (IDH) 1 and 2 play a pathogenic role in cancers, including acute myeloid leukemia (AML), by producing oncometabolite 2-hydroxyglutarate (2-HG). We recently reported that tyrosine phosphorylation activates IDH1 R132H mutant in AML cells. Here, we show that mutant IDH2 (mIDH2) R140Q commonly has K413 acetylation, which negatively regulates mIDH2 activity in human AML cells by attenuating dimerization and blocking binding of substrate (α-ketoglutarate) and cofactor (NADPH). Mechanistically, K413 acetylation of mitochondrial mIDH2 is achieved through a series of hierarchical phosphorylation events mediated by tyrosine kinase FLT3, which phosphorylates mIDH2 to recruit upstream mitochondrial acetyltransferase ACAT1 and simultaneously activates ACAT1 and inhibits upstream mitochondrial deacetylase SIRT3 through tyrosine phosphorylation. Moreover, we found that the intrinsic enzyme activity of mIDH2 is much higher than mIDH1, thus the inhibitory K413 acetylation optimizes leukemogenic ability of mIDH2 in AML cells by both producing sufficient 2-HG for transformation and avoiding cytotoxic accumulation of intracellular 2-HG.
    Keywords:  2-HG; ACAT1; AML; FLT3; K413 acetylation; SIRT3; dimerization; mutant IDH2
  5. Photodiagnosis Photodyn Ther. 2021 Jul 18. pii: S1572-1000(21)00269-6. [Epub ahead of print] 102446
      BACKGROUND: The present study aimed to characterize the intrinsic and photodynamic effects of azure B (AB) on mitochondrial bioenergetics, as well as the consequences of its intrinsic effects on hepatic energy metabolism.METHODS: Two experimental systems were utilized: (a) isolated rat liver mitochondria and (b) isolated perfused rat liver.
    RESULTS: AB interacted with mitochondria regardless of photostimulation, but its binding degree was reduced by mitochondrial energization. Under photostimulation, AB caused lipid peroxidation and protein carbonylation and decreased the content of reduced glutathione (GSH) in mitochondria. AB impaired mitochondrial bioenergetics in at least three distinct ways: (1) uncoupling of oxidative phosphorylation; (2) photoinactivation of complexes I and II; and (3) photoinactivation of the FoF1-ATP synthase complex. Without photostimulation, AB also demonstrated mitochondrial toxicity, which was characterized by the induction of lipid peroxidation, loss of inner mitochondrial membrane integrity, and uncoupling of oxidative phosphorylation. The perfused rat liver experiments showed that mitochondria were one of the major targets of AB, even in intact cells. AB inhibited gluconeogenesis and ureagenesis, two biosynthetic pathways strictly dependent on intramitochondrially generated ATP. Contrariwise, AB stimulated glycogenolysis and glycolysis, which are required compensatory pathways for the inhibited oxidative phosphorylation. Similarly, AB reduced the cellular ATP content and the ATP/ADP and ATP/AMP ratios.
    CONCLUSIONS: Although the properties and severe photodynamic effects of AB on rat liver mitochondria might suggest its usefulness in PDT treatment of liver tumors, this possibility should be considered with precaution given the toxic intrinsic effects of AB on mitochondrial bioenergetics and energy-linked hepatic metabolism.
    Keywords:  Enzyme photoinactivation; Liver toxicity; Oxidative phosphorylation; Photosensitizer; Rat liver mitochondria; Uncoupling
  6. Ther Adv Med Oncol. 2021 ;13 17588359211027836
      Background: Trastuzumab (Herceptin) is the key systemic therapy for HER2-positive breast cancer. However, the initial response rate is limited to approximately 50% in patients. Moreover, most patients, especially at an advanced stage, eventually develop acquired resistance. Understanding the mechanisms of trastuzumab resistance is crucial for achieving better treatment outcome in this group of patients.Methods: A trastuzumab-resistant (TR) cell line was developed using the BT474 HER2-positive breast cancer cell line. Whole-transcriptome expression array was performed and the TR-related gene NDUFA4L2 was identified by differential expression analysis between BT474 and BT474-TR. Mitochondrial localization of NDUFA4L2 was confirmed by immunofluorescence and western blotting using mitochondrial fractionation. Mitochondrial function and energy metabolism were evaluated using Seahorse, ATP production, and lactate production assays, and cellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) levels were determined using DCFDA. NDUFA4L2 expression in patients was evaluated by immunohistochemistry, and relapse-free survival was analyzed using the Kaplan-Meier method.
    Results: NDUFA4L2 was highly expressed in the TR HER2-positive breast cancer cell line. High expression level of NDUFA4L2 was associated with shorter relapse-free intervals in trastuzumab-treated HER2-positive breast cancer patients. Overexpression of NDUFA4L2 enhanced Warburg effects, enhanced aerobic glycolysis, reduced oxygen consumption, and lowered ROS production. Mechanistically, overexpression of NDUFA4L2 facilitated mitochondrial relocalization of HER2 and suppressed ROS production, thus rendering cancer cells more resistant to trastuzumab treatment.
    Conclusions: We identified NDUFA4L2 as a new biomarker and potential therapeutic target for TR HER2-positive breast cancer.
    Keywords:  NDUFA4L2; Warburg effects; breast cancer; mitochondrial metabolism; trastuzumab resistance
  7. Cancers (Basel). 2021 Jul 10. pii: 3461. [Epub ahead of print]13(14):
      Recently, it has become evident that mitochondrial transfer (MT) plays a crucial role in the acquisition of cancer drug resistance in many hematologic malignancies; however, for multiple myeloma, there is a need to generate novel data to better understand this mechanism. Here, we show that primary myeloma cells (MMs) respond to an increasing concentration of chemotherapeutic drugs with an increase in the acquisition of mitochondria from autologous bone marrow stromal cells (BM-MSCs), whereupon survival and adenosine triphosphate levels of MMs increase, while the mitochondrial superoxide levels decrease in MMs. These changes are proportional to the amount of incorporated BM-MSC-derived mitochondria and to the concentration of the used drug, but seem independent from the type and mechanism of action of chemotherapeutics. In parallel, BM-MSCs also incorporate an increasing amount of MM cell-derived mitochondria accompanied by an elevation of superoxide levels. Using the therapeutic antibodies Daratumumab, Isatuximab, or Elotuzumab, no similar effect was observed regarding the MT. Our research shows that MT occurs via tunneling nanotubes and partial cell fusion with extreme increases under the influence of chemotherapeutic drugs, but its inhibition is limited. However, the supportive effect of stromal cells can be effectively avoided by influencing the metabolism of myeloma cells with the concomitant use of chemotherapeutic agents and an inhibitor of oxidative phosphorylation.
    Keywords:  bone marrow mesenchymal stromal cell; cancer drug resistance; mitochondrial transfer; multiple myeloma; tunneling nanotube
  8. Oncogene. 2021 Jul 21.
      Epidemiologic studies in diabetic patients as well as research in model organisms have indicated the potential of metformin as a drug candidate for the treatment of various types of cancer, including breast cancer. To date most of the anti-cancer properties of metformin have, in large part, been attributed either to the inhibition of mitochondrial NADH oxidase complex (Complex I in the electron transport chain) or the activation of AMP-activated kinase (AMPK). However, it is becoming increasingly clear that AMPK activation may be critical to alleviate metabolic and energetic stresses associated with tumor progression suggesting that it may, in fact, attenuate the toxicity of metformin instead of promoting it. Here, we demonstrate that AMPK opposes the detrimental effects of mitochondrial complex I inhibition by enhancing glycolysis at the expense of, and in a manner dependent on, pyruvate availability. We also found that metformin forces cells to rewire their metabolic grid in a manner that depends on AMPK, with AMPK-competent cells upregulating glycolysis and AMPK-deficient cell resorting to ketogenesis. In fact, while the killing effects of metformin were largely rescued by pyruvate in AMPKcompetent cells, AMPK-deficient cells required instead acetoacetate, a product of fatty acid catabolism indicating a switch from sugar to fatty acid metabolism as a central resource for ATP production in these cells. In summary, our results indicate that AMPK activation is not responsible for metformin anticancer activity and may instead alleviate energetic stress by activating glycolysis.
  9. J Cell Mol Med. 2021 Jul 19.
      Mitochondria are central eukaryotic organelles in cellular metabolism and ATP production. Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) alterations have been implicated in the development of colorectal cancer (CRC). However, there are few reports on the association between mtDNA haplogroups or single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and the risk of CRC. The mtDNA of 286 Northern Han Chinese CRC patients were sequenced by next-generation sequencing technology. MtDNA data from 811 Han Chinese population controls were collected from two public data sets. Then, logistic regression analysis was used to determine the effect of mtDNA haplogroup or SNP on the risk of CRC. We found that patients with haplogroup M7 exhibited a reduced risk of CRC when compared to patients with other haplogroups (odds ratio [OR] = 0.532, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.285-0.937, p = 0.036) or haplogroup B (OR = 0.477, 95% CI = 0.238-0.916, p = 0.030). Furthermore, haplogroup M7 was still associated with the risk of CRC when the validation and combined control cohort were used. In addition, several haplogroup M7 specific SNPs, including 199T>C, 4071C>T and 6455C>T, were significantly associated with the risk of CRC. Our results indicate the risk potential of mtDNA haplogroup M7 and SNPs in CRC in Northern China.
    Keywords:  colorectal cancer risk; haplogroup; mitochondria; single nucleotide polymorphisms
  10. J Control Release. 2021 Jul 16. pii: S0168-3659(21)00366-7. [Epub ahead of print]337 117-131
      Inducing mitochondrial malfunction is an appealing strategy to overcome tumor multidrug resistance (MDR). Reported here a versatile mitochondrial-damaging molecule, vitamin E succinate (VES), is creatively utilized to assist MDR reversal of doxorubicin hydrochloride (DOX·HCl) via a nanovesicle platform self-assembled from amphiphilic polyphosphazenes containing pH-sensitive 1H-benzo-[d]imidazol-2-yl) methanamine (BIMA) groups. Driven by multiple non-covalent interactions, VES is fully introduced into the hydrophobic membrane of DOX·HCl-loaded nanovesicles with loading content of 23.5%. The incorporated VES also offers robust anti-leakage property toward DOX·HCl under normal physiological conditions. More importantly, upon release within acidic tumor cells, VES can target mitochondria and result in various dysfunctions including excessive generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS), mitochondrial membrane potential (ΔΨm) loss, and inhibited adenosine triphosphate (ATP) synthesis, which contribute to cell apoptosis and insufficient energy supply for drug efflux pumps. Consequently, the killing-effect of DOX·HCl is significantly enhanced toward drug resistant cancer cells at the optimal mass ratio of DOX·HCl to VES. Further in vivo antitumor investigation on nude mice bearing xenograft drug-resistant human chronic myelogenous leukemia K562/ADR tumors verifies the extremely enhanced anti-tumor efficacy of the dual drug-loaded nanovesicle with the tumor inhibition rate (TIR) of 82.38%. Collectively, this study provides a s safe, facile and promising strategy for both precise drug delivery and MDR eradication to improve cancer therapy.
    Keywords:  Doxorubicin; Mitochondrial targeting; Multidrug resistance; Vitamin E succinate; pH-sensitive nanovesicle
  11. Sci Adv. 2021 Jul;pii: eabf3895. [Epub ahead of print]7(30):
      Metabolic dysregulation underlies malignant phenotypes attributed to cancer stem cells, such as unlimited proliferation and differentiation blockade. Here, we demonstrate that NAD+ metabolism enables acute myeloid leukemia (AML) to evade apoptosis, another hallmark of cancer stem cells. We integrated whole-genome CRISPR screening and pan-cancer genetic dependency mapping to identify NAMPT and NMNAT1 as AML dependencies governing NAD+ biosynthesis. While both NAMPT and NMNAT1 were required for AML, the presence of NAD+ precursors bypassed the dependence of AML on NAMPT but not NMNAT1, pointing to NMNAT1 as a gatekeeper of NAD+ biosynthesis. Deletion of NMNAT1 reduced nuclear NAD+, activated p53, and increased venetoclax sensitivity. Conversely, increased NAD+ biosynthesis promoted venetoclax resistance. Unlike leukemia stem cells (LSCs) in both murine and human AML xenograft models, NMNAT1 was dispensable for hematopoietic stem cells and hematopoiesis. Our findings identify NMNAT1 as a previously unidentified therapeutic target that maintains NAD+ for AML progression and chemoresistance.
  12. EMBO Rep. 2021 Jul 23. e51954
      Mfn2 is a mitochondrial fusion protein with bioenergetic functions implicated in the pathophysiology of neuronal and metabolic disorders. Understanding the bioenergetic mechanism of Mfn2 may aid in designing therapeutic approaches for these disorders. Here we show using endoplasmic reticulum (ER) or mitochondria-targeted Mfn2 that Mfn2 stimulation of the mitochondrial metabolism requires its localization in the ER, which is independent of its fusion function. ER-located Mfn2 interacts with mitochondrial Mfn1/2 to tether the ER and mitochondria together, allowing Ca2+ transfer from the ER to mitochondria to enhance mitochondrial bioenergetics. The physiological relevance of these findings is shown during neurite outgrowth, when there is an increase in Mfn2-dependent ER-mitochondria contact that is necessary for correct neuronal arbor growth. Reduced neuritic growth in Mfn2 KO neurons is recovered by the expression of ER-targeted Mfn2 or an artificial ER-mitochondria tether, indicating that manipulation of ER-mitochondria contacts could be used to treat pathologic conditions involving Mfn2.
    Keywords:  Ca2+; ER-mitochondria tethering; Mfn2; neuritic growth
  13. Biophys J. 2021 Jul 20. pii: S0006-3495(21)00598-1. [Epub ahead of print]
      Mitochondria exhibit unstable inner membrane potentials (ΔΨm) when subjected to stress, such as during Ischemia/Reperfusion (I/R). Understanding the mechanism of ΔΨm instability involves characterizing and quantifying this phenomenon in an unbiased and reproducible manner. Here, we describe a simple analytical workflow called 'MitoWave' that combines wavelet transform methods and image segmentation to unravel dynamic ΔΨm changes in the cardiac mitochondrial network during I/R. In vitro ischemia was effected by placing a glass coverslip on a monolayer of neonatal mouse ventricular myocytes (NMVMs) for 1 hour and removing the coverslip to allowed for reperfusion, revealing complex oscillatory ΔΨm. MitoWave analysis was then used to identify individual mitochondrial clusters within the cells and track their intrinsic oscillation frequencies over the course of reperfusion. Responses segregated into five typical behaviors quantified by MitoWave that were corroborated by visual inspection of the time series. Statistical analysis of the distribution of oscillating mitochondrial clusters during reperfusion showed significant differences between the five different outcomes. Features such as the time-point of ΔΨm depolarization during I/R, area of mitochondrial clusters, and time-resolved frequency components dAuring reperfusion were determined per cell and per mitochondrial cluster. Mitochondria from NMVMs subjected to I/R oscillate in the frequency range of 8.6-45mHz, with a mean of 8.73±4.35mHz. Oscillating clusters had smaller areas ranging from 49.8±1.2 μm2 while non-oscillating clusters had larger areas 66±1.5μm2. A negative correlation between frequency and mitochondrial cluster area was observed. We also observed that late ΔΨm loss during ischemia correlated with early ΔΨm stabilization after oscillation on reperfusion. Thus, MitoWave analysis provides a semi-automated method to quantify complex time-resolved mitochondrial behavior in an easy to follow workflow, enabling unbiased, reproducible quantitation of complex non-stationary cellular phenomena.
    Keywords:  image processing; ischemia; mitochondrial membrane potential; oscillation; oxidative phosphorylation; reperfusion; time-series analysis; wavelet
  14. Int J Mol Sci. 2021 Jul 09. pii: 7369. [Epub ahead of print]22(14):
      Cancer is a serious health problem with a high mortality rate worldwide. Given the relevance of mitochondria in numerous physiological and pathological mechanisms, such as adenosine triphosphate (ATP) synthesis, apoptosis, metabolism, cancer progression and drug resistance, mitochondrial genome (mtDNA) analysis has become of great interest in the study of human diseases, including cancer. To date, a high number of variants and mutations have been identified in different types of tumors, which coexist with normal alleles, a phenomenon named heteroplasmy. This mechanism is considered an intermediate state between the fixation or elimination of the acquired mutations. It is suggested that mutations, which confer adaptive advantages to tumor growth and invasion, are enriched in malignant cells. Notably, many recent studies have reported a heteroplasmy-shifting phenomenon as a potential shaper in tumor progression and treatment response, and we suggest that each cancer type also has a unique mitochondrial heteroplasmy-shifting profile. So far, a plethora of data evidencing correlations among heteroplasmy and cancer-related phenotypes are available, but still, not authentic demonstrations, and whether the heteroplasmy or the variation in mtDNA copy number (mtCNV) in cancer are cause or consequence remained unknown. Further studies are needed to support these findings and decipher their clinical implications and impact in the field of drug discovery aimed at treating human cancer.
    Keywords:  cancer; heteroplasmy; heteroplasmy shifting; mitochondrial DNA; mitochondrial mutations
  15. Front Cell Dev Biol. 2021 ;9 692776
      Reactive oxygen species (ROS) oxidize surrounding molecules and thus impair their functions. Since mitochondria are a major source of ROS, suppression of ROS overproduction in the mitochondria is important for cells. Spontaneous transient depolarization of individual mitochondria is a physiological phenomenon widely observed from plants to mammals. Mitochondrial uncoupling can reduce ROS production; therefore, it is conceivable that transient depolarization could reduce ROS production. However, transient depolarization has been observed with increased ROS production. Therefore, the exact contribution of transient depolarization to ROS production has not been elucidated. In this study, we examined how the spontaneous transient depolarization occurring in individual mitochondria affected ROS production. When the matrix pH increased after the addition of malate or exposure of the isolated mitochondria to a high-pH buffer, transient depolarization was stimulated. Similar stimulation by an increased matrix pH was also observed in the mitochondria in intact H9c2 cells. Modifying the mitochondrial membrane potential and matrix pH by adding K+ in the presence of valinomycin, a K+ ionophore, clarified that an increase in the matrix pH is a major cause of ROS generation. When we added ADP in the presence of oligomycin to suppress the transient depolarization without decreasing the matrix pH, we observed the suppression of mitochondrial respiration, increased matrix pH, and enhanced ROS production. Based on these results, we propose a model where spontaneous transient depolarization occurs during increased proton influx through proton channels opened by increased matrix pH, leading to the suppression of ROS production. This study improves our understanding of mitochondrial behavior.
    Keywords:  matrix pH; membrane potential; mitochondria; reactive oxygen species; transient depolarization
  16. Cell Stem Cell. 2021 Jul 12. pii: S1934-5909(21)00274-5. [Epub ahead of print]
      Current treatments for acute myeloid leukemia (AML) are often ineffective in eliminating leukemic stem cells (LSCs), which perpetuate the disease. Here, we performed a metabolic drug screen to identify LSC-specific vulnerabilities and found that nicotinamide phosphoribosyltransferase (NAMPT) inhibitors selectively killed LSCs, while sparing normal hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells. Treatment with KPT-9274, a NAMPT inhibitor, suppressed the conversion of saturated fatty acids to monounsaturated fatty acids, a reaction catalyzed by the stearoyl-CoA desaturase (SCD) enzyme, resulting in apoptosis of AML cells. Transcriptomic analysis of LSCs treated with KPT-9274 revealed an upregulation of sterol regulatory-element binding protein (SREBP)-regulated genes, including SCD, which conferred partial protection against NAMPT inhibitors. Inhibition of SREBP signaling with dipyridamole enhanced the cytotoxicity of KPT-9274 on LSCs in vivo. Our work demonstrates that altered lipid homeostasis plays a key role in NAMPT inhibitor-induced apoptosis and identifies NAMPT inhibition as a therapeutic strategy for targeting LSCs in AML.
    Keywords:  NAD metabolism; NAMPT; SREBP signaling; acute myeloid leukemia; dipyridamole; drug screen; fatty acid; leukemic stem cells; lipotoxicity; metabolism
  17. Function (Oxf). 2020 ;1(2): zqaa013
      Obesity is associated with adipose tissue hypertrophy, systemic inflammation, mitochondrial dysfunction, and intestinal dysbiosis. Rodent models of high-fat diet (HFD)-feeding or genetic deletion of multifunctional proteins involved in immunity and metabolism are often used to probe the etiology of obesity; however, these models make it difficult to divorce the effects of obesity, diet composition, or immunity on endocrine regulation of blood glucose. We, therefore, investigated the importance of adipose inflammation, mitochondrial dysfunction, and gut dysbiosis for obesity-induced insulin resistance using a spontaneously obese mouse model. We examined metabolic changes in skeletal muscle, adipose tissue, liver, the intestinal microbiome, and whole-body glucose control in spontaneously hyperphagic C57Bl/6J mice compared to lean littermates. A separate subset of lean and obese mice was subject to 8 weeks of obesogenic HFD feeding, or to pair feeding of a standard rodent diet. Hyperphagia, obesity, adipose inflammation, and insulin resistance were present in obese mice despite consuming a standard rodent diet, and these effects were blunted with caloric restriction. However, hyperphagic obese mice had normal mitochondrial respiratory function in all tissues tested and no discernable intestinal dysbiosis relative to lean littermates. In contrast, feeding mice an obesogenic HFD altered the composition of the gut microbiome, impaired skeletal muscle mitochondrial bioenergetics, and promoted poor glucose control. These data show that adipose inflammation and redox stress occurred in all models of obesity, but gut dysbiosis and mitochondrial respiratory dysfunction are not always required for obesity-induced insulin resistance. Rather, changes in the intestinal microbiome and mitochondrial bioenergetics may reflect physiological consequences of HFD feeding.
    Keywords:  inflammation; insulin resistance; microbiome; mitochondrial function; obesity; redox balance
  18. Autophagy. 2021 Jul 18. 1-3
      Mitophagy, the clearance of surplus or damaged mitochondria or mitochondrial parts by autophagy, is important for maintenance of cellular homeostasis. Whereas knowledge on programmed and stress-induced mitophagy is increasing, much less is known about mechanisms of basal mitophagy. Recently, we identified SAMM50 (SAMM50 sorting and assembly machinery component) as a receptor for piecemeal degradation of components of the sorting and assembly machinery (SAM) complex and mitochondrial contact site and cristae organizing system (MICOS) complexes. SAMM50 interacts directly with Atg8-family proteins through a canonical LIR motif and with SQSTM1/p62 to mediate basal piecemeal mitophagy. During a metabolic switch to oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS), SAMM50 cooperates with SQSTM1 to mediate efficient piecemeal mitophagy.
    Keywords:  Atg8; MICOS; OXPHOS; SAMM50; SQSTM1; basal; metabolic switch; p62; piecemeal mitophagy
  19. Psychoneuroendocrinology. 2021 Jun 29. pii: S0306-4530(21)00220-1. [Epub ahead of print]132 105346
      Exposure to early-life stress (ES) increases the vulnerability to develop metabolic diseases as well as cognitive dysfunction, but the specific biological underpinning of the ES-induced programming is unknown. Metabolic and cognitive disorders are often comorbid, suggesting possible converging underlying pathways. Mitochondrial dysfunction is implicated in both metabolic diseases and cognitive dysfunction and chronic stress impairs mitochondrial functioning. However, if and how mitochondria are impacted by ES and whether they are implicated in the ES-induced programming remains to be determined. ES was applied by providing mice with limited nesting and bedding material from postnatal day (P)2-P9, and metabolic parameters, cognitive functions and multiple aspects of mitochondria biology (i.e. mitochondrial electron transport chain (ETC) complex activity, mitochondrial DNA copy number, expression of genes relevant for mitochondrial function, and the antioxidant capacity) were studied in muscle, hypothalamus and hippocampus at P9 and late adulthood (10-12 months of age). We show that ES altered bodyweight (gain), adiposity and glucose levels at P9, but not in late adulthood. At this age, however, ES exposure led to cognitive impairments. ES affected peripheral and central mitochondria in an age-dependent manner. At P9, both muscle and hypothalamic ETC activity were affected by ES, while in hippocampus, ES altered the expression of genes involved in fission and antioxidant defence. In adulthood, alterations in ETC complex activity were observed in the hypothalamus specifically, whereas in muscle and hippocampus ES affected the expression of genes involved in mitophagy and fission, respectively. Our study demonstrates that ES affects peripheral and central mitochondria biology throughout life, thereby uncovering a converging mechanism that might contribute to the ES-induced vulnerability for both metabolic diseases and cognitive dysfunction, which could serve as a novel target for intervention.
    Keywords:  Cognition; Early-life stress; Metabolism; Mitochondria
  20. J Pharm Anal. 2021 Jun;11(3): 340-350
      Lipotoxicity, caused by intracellular lipid accumulation, accelerates the degenerative process of cellular senescence, which has implications in cancer development and therapy. Previously, carnitine palmitoyltransferase 1C (CPT1C), a mitochondrial enzyme that catalyzes carnitinylation of fatty acids, was found to be a critical regulator of cancer cell senescence. However, whether loss of CPT1C could induce senescence as a result of lipotoxicity remains unknown. An LC/MS-based lipidomic analysis of PANC-1, MDA-MB-231, HCT-116 and A549 cancer cells was conducted after siRNA depletion of CPT1C. Cellular lipotoxicity was further confirmed by lipotoxicity assays. Significant changes were found in the lipidome of CPT1C-depleted cells, including major alterations in fatty acid, diacylglycerol, triacylglycerol, oxidative lipids, cardiolipin, phosphatidylglycerol, phosphatidylcholine/phosphatidylethanolamine ratio and sphingomyelin. This was coincident with changes in expressions of mRNAs involved in lipogenesis. Histological and biochemical analyses revealed higher lipid accumulation and increased malondialdehyde and reactive oxygen species, signatures of lipid peroxidation and oxidative stress. Reduction of ATP synthesis, loss of mitochondrial transmembrane potential and down-regulation of expression of mitochondriogenesis gene mRNAs indicated mitochondrial dysfunction induced by lipotoxicity, which could further result in cellular senescence. Taken together, this study demonstrated CPT1C plays a critical role in the regulation of cancer cell lipotoxicity and cell senescence, suggesting that inhibition of CPT1C may serve as a new therapeutic strategy through induction of tumor lipotoxicity and senescence.
    Keywords:  Anticancer target; Lipid accumulation; Lipid peroxidation; Lipidomics; Mitochondrial dysfunction; Oxidative stress
  21. Elife. 2021 Jul 20. pii: e65484. [Epub ahead of print]10
      Mitochondria are organelles with their own genomes, but they rely on the import of nuclear-encoded proteins that are translated by cytosolic ribosomes. Therefore, it is important to understand whether failures in the mitochondrial uptake of these nuclear-encoded proteins can cause proteotoxic stress and identify response mechanisms that may counteract it. Here, we report that upon impairments in mitochondrial protein import, high-risk precursor and immature forms of mitochondrial proteins form aberrant deposits in the cytosol. These deposits then cause further cytosolic accumulation and consequently aggregation of other mitochondrial proteins and disease-related proteins, including α-synuclein and amyloid β. This aggregation triggers a cytosolic protein homeostasis imbalance that is accompanied by specific molecular chaperone responses at both the transcriptomic and protein levels. Altogether, our results provide evidence that mitochondrial dysfunction, specifically protein import defects, contributes to impairments in protein homeostasis, thus revealing a possible molecular mechanism by which mitochondria are involved in neurodegenerative diseases.
    Keywords:  C. elegans; S. cerevisiae; biochemistry; chemical biology
  22. Int J Mol Sci. 2021 Jul 06. pii: 7270. [Epub ahead of print]22(14):
      The Acyl-CoA-binding domain-containing protein (ACBD3) plays multiple roles across the cell. Although generally associated with the Golgi apparatus, it operates also in mitochondria. In steroidogenic cells, ACBD3 is an important part of a multiprotein complex transporting cholesterol into mitochondria. Balance in mitochondrial cholesterol is essential for proper mitochondrial protein biosynthesis, among others. We generated ACBD3 knock-out (ACBD3-KO) HEK293 and HeLa cells and characterized the impact of protein absence on mitochondria, Golgi, and lipid profile. In ACBD3-KO cells, cholesterol level and mitochondrial structure and functions are not altered, demonstrating that an alternative pathway of cholesterol transport into mitochondria exists. However, ACBD3-KO cells exhibit enlarged Golgi area with absence of stacks and ribbon-like formation, confirming the importance of ACBD3 in Golgi stacking. The glycosylation of the LAMP2 glycoprotein was not affected by the altered Golgi structure. Moreover, decreased sphingomyelins together with normal ceramides and sphingomyelin synthase activity reveal the importance of ACBD3 in ceramide transport from ER to Golgi.
    Keywords:  ACBD3; Golgi; OXPHOS; cholesterol; knock-out; mitochondria
  23. Cell Death Discov. 2021 Jul 22. 7(1): 189
      Breast cancer is the most common cancer with a high rate of mortality and morbidity among women worldwide. Estrogen receptor status is an important prognostic factor and endocrine therapy is the choice of first-line treatment in ER-positive breast cancer. However, most tumors develop resistance to endocrine therapy. Here we demonstrate that BH3 profiling technology, in particular, dynamic BH3 profiling can predict the response to endocrine therapy agents as well as the development of acquired resistance in breast cancer cells independent of estrogen receptor status. Immunofluorescence analysis and subcellular fractionation experiments revealed distinct ER-α and ER-β subcellular localization patterns in breast cancer cells, including mitochondrial localization of both receptor subtypes. shRNA-mediated depletion of ER-β in breast cancer cells led to resistance to endocrine therapy agents and selective reconstitution of ER-β in mitochondria restored sensitivity. Notably, mitochondria-targeted ER-α did not restore sensitivity, even conferred further resistance to endocrine therapy agents. In addition, expressing mitochondria-targeted ER-β in breast cancer cells resulted in decreased mitochondrial respiration alongside increased total ROS and mitochondrial superoxide production. Furthermore, our data demonstrated that mitochondrial ER-β can be successfully targeted by the selective ER-β agonist Erteberel. Thus, our findings provide novel findings on mitochondrial estrogen signaling in breast cancer cells and suggest the implementation of the dynamic BH3 technique as a tool to predict acquired endocrine therapy resistance.
  24. FEBS J. 2021 Jul 23.
      Cyanide is traditionally viewed as a cytotoxic agent, with its primary mode of action being the inhibition of mitochondrial Complex IV (cytochrome c oxidase). However, recent studies demonstrate that the effect of cyanide on Complex IV in various mammalian cells is biphasic: in lower concentrations (nanomolar to low micromolar) cyanide stimulates Complex IV activity, increases ATP production and accelerates cell proliferation, while at higher concentrations (high micromolar to low millimolar) it produces the previously known ("classic") toxic effects. The first part of the article describes the cytotoxic actions of cyanide in the context of environmental toxicology, and highlights pathophysiological conditions (e.g. cystic fibrosis with Pseudomonas colonization) where bacterially-produced cyanide exerts deleterious effects to the host. The second part of the article summarizes the mammalian sources of cyanide production and overviews the emerging concept that mammalian cells may produce cyanide, in low concentrations, to serve biological regulatory roles. Cyanide fulfills many of the general criteria as a 'classical' mammalian gasotransmitter and shares some common features with the current members of this class: nitric oxide, carbon monoxide and hydrogen sulfide.
    Keywords:  bioenergetics; carbon monoxide; hydrogen sulfide; metabolism; mitochondria; nitric oxide
  25. Mol Med Rep. 2021 Sep;pii: 651. [Epub ahead of print]24(3):
      Forkhead‑box gene 1 (FOXG1) has been reported to serve an important role in various malignancies, but its effects on nasopharyngeal cancer (NPC) remain unknown. Thus, the present study aimed to investigate the specific regulatory relationship between FOXG1 and NPC progression. Tumor tissues and matching para‑carcinoma tissues were obtained from patients with NPC. Small interfering (si)RNA‑FOXG1 and pcDNA3.1‑FOXG1 were transfected into SUNE‑1 and C666‑1 cells to knockdown and overexpress FOXG1 expression, respectively. FOXG1 expression was detected using reverse transcription‑quantitative PCR and immunohistochemistry. Cell proliferation was detected using MTT and 5‑ethynyl‑20‑deoxyuridine assays. Transwell invasion assay, wound healing assay and flow cytometry were used to detect cell invasion, migration and apoptosis, respectively. Western blotting was conducted to detect the expression levels of mitochondrial markers (succinate dehydrogenase complex flavoprotein subunit A, heat shock protein 60 and pyruvate dehydrogenase), epithelial‑mesenchymal transition (EMT) related proteins (N‑cadherin, Snail and E‑cadherin) and apoptosis‑related proteins [Bax, Bcl‑2, poly(ADP‑ribose) polymerase 1 (PARP), cleaved PARP, cleaved caspase‑3, cleaved caspase‑8, cleaved caspase‑9, caspase‑3, caspase‑8 and caspase‑9]. The mitochondrial membrane potential was detected via flow cytometry, while the ATP/ADP ratio was determined using the ADP/ATP ratio assay kit. The present results demonstrated that FOXG1 expression was upregulated in NPC tissues and cells, and was associated with distant metastasis and TNM stage. Moreover, knockdown of FOXG1 inhibited the proliferation, migration, invasion, EMT and mitochondrial function of SUNE‑1 cells, as well as promoted cell apoptosis, while the opposite results were observed in C666‑1 cells. In conclusion, FOXG1 enhanced proliferation, migration and invasion, induced EMT and improved mitochondrial function in NPC cells. The current findings provide an adequate theoretical basis for the treatment of NPC.
    Keywords:  EMT; FOXG1; NPC; mitochondria; proliferation
  26. Nature. 2021 Jul 21.
      Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC)-the most common form of liver cancer-is an aggressive malignancy with few effective treatment options1. Lenvatinib is a small-molecule inhibitor of multiple receptor tyrosine kinases that is used for the treatment of patients with advanced HCC, but this drug has only limited clinical benefit2. Here, using a kinome-centred CRISPR-Cas9 genetic screen, we show that inhibition of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) is synthetic lethal with lenvatinib in liver cancer. The combination of the EGFR inhibitor gefitinib and lenvatinib displays potent anti-proliferative effects in vitro in liver cancer cell lines that express EGFR and in vivo in xenografted liver cancer cell lines, immunocompetent mouse models and patient-derived HCC tumours in mice. Mechanistically, inhibition of fibroblast growth factor receptor (FGFR)  by lenvatinib treatment leads to feedback activation of the EGFR-PAK2-ERK5 signalling axis, which is blocked by EGFR inhibition. Treatment of 12 patients with advanced HCC who were unresponsive to lenvatinib treatment with the combination of lenvatinib plus gefitinib (trial identifier NCT04642547) resulted in meaningful clinical responses. The combination therapy identified here may represent a promising strategy for the approximately 50% of patients with advanced HCC who have high levels of EGFR.
  27. Blood. 2021 Jul 22. 138(3): 234-245
      Venetoclax, a Bcl-2 inhibitor, in combination with the hypomethylating agent azacytidine, achieves complete remission with or without count recovery in ∼70% of treatment-naive elderly patients unfit for conventional intensive chemotherapy. However, the mechanism of action of this drug combination is not fully understood. We discovered that venetoclax directly activated T cells to increase their cytotoxicity against acute myeloid leukemia (AML) in vitro and in vivo. Venetoclax enhanced T-cell effector function by increasing reactive oxygen species generation through inhibition of respiratory chain supercomplexes formation. In addition, azacytidine induced a viral mimicry response in AML cells by activating the STING/cGAS pathway, thereby rendering the AML cells more susceptible to T cell-mediated cytotoxicity. Similar findings were seen in patients treated with venetoclax, as this treatment increased reactive oxygen species generation and activated T cells. Collectively, this study presents a new immune-mediated mechanism of action for venetoclax and azacytidine in the treatment of AML and highlights a potential combination of venetoclax and adoptive cell therapy for patients with AML.
  28. Oncogene. 2021 Jul 17.
      Epigenetic alterations have been previously shown to contribute to multiple myeloma (MM) pathogenesis via DNA methylations and histone modifications. RNA methylation, a novel epigenetic modification, is required for cancer cell survival, and targeting this pathway has been proposed as a new therapeutic strategy. The extent to the N6-methyladenosine (m6A)-regulatory pathway functions in MM remains unknown. Here, we show that an imbalance of RNA methylation may underlies the tumorigenesis of MM. Mechanistically, isocitrate dehydrogenase 2 (IDH2) is highly expressed in CD138+ cells from MM and its levels appear a progressive increase in the progression of plasma cell dyscrasias. Downregulation of IDH2 increases global m6A RNA levels and reduces myeloma cell growth in vitro, decreases the burden of disease and prolongs overall survival in vivo. IDH2 regulates RNA methylation by activating the RNA demethylase FTO, which is an α-KG-dependent dioxygenase. Furthermore, IDH2-mediated FTO activation decreases the m6A level on WNT7B transcripts, then increases WNT7B expression and thus activated Wnt signaling pathway. Moreover, survival analysis indicates that the elevated expression of IDH2 predicts a poor prognosis. Higher expression of FTO is related to higher International Staging System (ISS) stage and higher Revised-ISS (R-ISS) stage of MM. Collectively, our studies reveal that IDH2 regulates global m6A RNA modification in MM via targeting RNA demethylases FTO. The imbalance of m6A methylation activates the Wnt signaling pathway by enhancing the WNT7B expression, and thus promoting tumorigenesis and progression of MM. IDH2 might be used as a therapeutic target and a possible prognostic factor for MM.
  29. Elife. 2021 Jul 19. pii: e69344. [Epub ahead of print]10
      Selection against deleterious mitochondrial mutations is facilitated by germline processes, lowering the risk of genetic diseases. How selection works is disputed: experimental data are conflicting and previous modelling work has not clarified the issues. Here we develop computational and evolutionary models that compare the outcome of selection at the level of individuals, cells and mitochondria. Using realistic de novo mutation rates and germline development parameters from mouse and humans, the evolutionary model predicts the observed prevalence of mitochondrial mutations and diseases in human populations. We show the importance of organelle-level selection, seen in the selective pooling of mitochondria into the Balbiani body, in achieving high-quality mitochondria at extreme ploidy in mature oocytes. Alternative mechanisms debated in the literature, bottlenecks and follicular atresia, are unlikely to account for the clinical data, because neither process effectively eliminates mitochondrial mutations under realistic conditions. Our findings explain the major features of female germline architecture, notably the longstanding paradox of over-proliferation of primordial germ cells followed by massive loss. The near-universality of these processes across animal taxa makes sense in light of the need to maintain mitochondrial quality at extreme ploidy in mature oocytes, in the absence of sex and recombination.
    Keywords:  evolutionary biology; none
  30. Nat Commun. 2021 07 22. 12(1): 4462
      RORγt+ lymphocytes, including interleukin 17 (IL-17)-producing gamma delta T (γδT17) cells, T helper 17 (Th17) cells, and group 3 innate lymphoid cells (ILC3s), are important immune regulators. Compared to Th17 cells and ILC3s, γδT17 cell metabolism and its role in tissue homeostasis remains poorly understood. Here, we report that the tissue milieu shapes splenic and intestinal γδT17 cell gene signatures. Conditional deletion of mitochondrial transcription factor A (Tfam) in RORγt+ lymphocytes significantly affects systemic γδT17 cell maintenance and reduces ILC3s without affecting Th17 cells in the gut. In vivo deletion of Tfam in RORγt+ lymphocytes, especially in γδT17 cells, results in small intestine tissue remodeling and increases small intestine length by enhancing the type 2 immune responses in mice. Moreover, these mice show dysregulation of the small intestine transcriptome and metabolism with less body weight but enhanced anti-helminth immunity. IL-22, a cytokine produced by RORγt+ lymphocytes inhibits IL-13-induced tuft cell differentiation in vitro, and suppresses the tuft cell-type 2 immune circuit and small intestine lengthening in vivo, highlighting its key role in gut tissue remodeling.
  31. Nat Cancer. 2020 Nov;1(11): 1097-1112
      Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDA) is characterized by an immune-suppressive tumor microenvironment that renders it largely refractory to immunotherapy. We implemented a multimodal analysis approach to elucidate the immune landscape in PDA. Using a combination of CyTOF, single-cell RNA sequencing, and multiplex immunohistochemistry on patient tumors, matched blood, and non-malignant samples, we uncovered a complex network of immune-suppressive cellular interactions. These experiments revealed heterogeneous expression of immune checkpoint receptors in individual patient's T cells and increased markers of CD8+ T cell dysfunction in advanced disease stage. Tumor-infiltrating CD8+ T cells had an increased proportion of cells expressing an exhausted expression profile that included upregulation of the immune checkpoint TIGIT, a finding that we validated at the protein level. Our findings point to a profound alteration of the immune landscape of tumors, and to patient-specific immune changes that should be taken into account as combination immunotherapy becomes available for pancreatic cancer.
    Keywords:  CD8+ T cells; Single-cell RNA sequencing; TIGIT; immune checkpoints; pancreatic cancer; tumor immunology
  32. Front Physiol. 2021 ;12 696275
      Metabolic disorders are frequently associated with physiological changes that occur during ageing. The mitochondrial prohibitin complex (PHB) is an evolutionary conserved context-dependent modulator of longevity, which has been linked to alterations in lipid metabolism but which biochemical function remains elusive. In this work we aimed at elucidating the molecular mechanism by which depletion of mitochondrial PHB shortens the lifespan of wild type animals while it extends that of insulin signaling receptor (daf-2) mutants. A liquid chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry approach was used to characterize the worm lipidome of wild type and insulin deficient animals upon PHB depletion. Toward a mechanistic interpretation of the insights coming from this analysis, we used a combination of biochemical, microscopic, and lifespan analyses. We show that PHB depletion perturbed glycerophospholipids and glycerolipids pools differently in short- versus long-lived animals. Interestingly, PHB depletion in otherwise wild type animals induced the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) unfolded protein response (UPR), which was mitigated in daf-2 mutants. Moreover, depletion of DNJ-21, which functionally interacts with PHB in mitochondria, mimicked the effect of PHB deficiency on the UPRER and on the lifespan of wild type and insulin signaling deficient mutants. Our work shows that PHB differentially modulates lipid metabolism depending on the worm's metabolic status and provides evidences for a new link between PHB and ER homeostasis in ageing regulation.
    Keywords:  UPRER; ageing; insulin; lipid droplet; lipidomics; mitochondria; prohibitin (PHB); yolk
  33. Int J Mol Sci. 2021 Jul 08. pii: 7358. [Epub ahead of print]22(14):
      The voltage-dependent anion channel (VDAC) is the primary regulating pathway of water-soluble metabolites and ions across the mitochondrial outer membrane. When reconstituted into lipid membranes, VDAC responds to sufficiently large transmembrane potentials by transitioning to gated states in which ATP/ADP flux is reduced and calcium flux is increased. Two otherwise unrelated cytosolic proteins, tubulin, and α-synuclein (αSyn), dock with VDAC by a novel mechanism in which the transmembrane potential draws their disordered, polyanionic C-terminal domains into and through the VDAC channel, thus physically blocking the pore. For both tubulin and αSyn, the blocked state is observed at much lower transmembrane potentials than VDAC gated states, such that in the presence of these cytosolic docking proteins, VDAC's sensitivity to transmembrane potential is dramatically increased. Remarkably, the features of the VDAC gated states relevant for bioenergetics-reduced metabolite flux and increased calcium flux-are preserved in the blocked state induced by either docking protein. The ability of tubulin and αSyn to modulate mitochondrial potential and ATP production in vivo is now supported by many studies. The common physical origin of the interactions of both tubulin and αSyn with VDAC leads to a general model of a VDAC inhibitor, facilitates predictions of the effect of post-translational modifications of known inhibitors, and points the way toward the development of novel therapeutics targeting VDAC.
    Keywords:  ATP transport; beta-barrel channels; mitochondrial membranes; peripheral proteins; tubulin; voltage gating; voltage-dependent anion channel; α-synuclein
  34. J Biol Chem. 2021 Jul 16. pii: S0021-9258(21)00774-2. [Epub ahead of print] 100972
      Heme plays a critical role in catalyzing life-essential redox reactions in all cells, and its synthesis must be tightly balanced with cellular requirements. Heme synthesis in eukaryotes is tightly regulated by the mitochondrial AAA+ unfoldase CLPX (caseinolytic mitochondrial matrix peptidase chaperone subunit X), which promotes heme synthesis by activation of δ-aminolevulinate synthase (ALAS/Hem1) in yeast and regulates turnover of ALAS1 in human cells. However, the specific mechanisms by which CLPX regulates heme synthesis are unclear. In this study, we interrogated the mechanisms by which CLPX regulates heme synthesis in erythroid cells. Quantitation of enzyme activity and protein degradation showed that ALAS2 stability and activity were both increased in the absence of CLPX, suggesting that CLPX primarily regulates ALAS2 by control of its turnover, rather than its activation. However, we also showed that CLPX is required for PPOX (protoporphyinogen IX oxidase) activity and maintenance of FECH (ferrochelatase) levels, which are the terminal enzymes in heme synthesis, likely accounting for the heme deficiency and porphyrin accumulation observed in Clpx-/- cells. Lastly, CLPX is required for iron utilization for hemoglobin synthesis during erythroid differentiation. Collectively, our data show that the role of CLPX in yeast ALAS/Hem1 activation is not conserved in vertebrates as vertebrates rely on CLPX to regulate ALAS turnover as well as PPOX and FECH activity. Our studies reveal that CLPX mutations may cause anemia and porphyria via dysregulation of ALAS, FECH and PPOX activities, as well as of iron metabolism.
  35. Free Radic Biol Med. 2021 Jul 15. pii: S0891-5849(21)00419-6. [Epub ahead of print]173 1-6
      Obesity has been associated with increased production of reactive oxygen species (ROS), which may be involved in the development of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes (T2D). Endurance exercise lowers ROS production and increases antioxidant capacity in muscle cells, but it is currently unknown whether high intensity interval training (HIT) elicits the same effects. Twelve sedentary obese subjects at risk of developing T2D took part in a six-week intervention, performing three HIT sessions per week (five 1-min sets of high-intensity cycling (125% of VO2peak), with 90 s recovery in between sets). Muscle biopsies were obtained for assessment of ROS production (H2O2 emission), mitochondrial respiratory capacity, and antioxidant protein levels before and after the intervention. H2O2 emission decreased 60.4% after the intervention (Succinate 3 mmol・l-1), concurrent with a 35.1% increase in protein levels of the antioxidant manganese superoxide dismutase (MnSOD) and a trend towards increased levels of the antioxidant catalase (p = 0.06, 72.9%). These findings were accompanied by a 19% increased mitochondrial respiratory capacity (CI + II), a 6.9% increased VO2peak and a 1.7% lower body fat percentage. These effects were achieved after just 15 min of high-intensity work and 40 min of total time spent per week. Overall, this suggests that a relatively small amount of HIT is sufficient to induce beneficial effects on ROS production and antioxidant status in muscle cells, which may lower oxidative stress and potentially protect against the development of cardiovascular disease.
    Keywords:  Antioxidants; HIT; Oxidative stress; Skeletal muscle