bims-mibica Biomed News
on Mitochondrial bioenergetics in cancer
Issue of 2022‒01‒30
27 papers selected by
Kelsey Fisher-Wellman
East Carolina University

  1. Dev Cell. 2022 Jan 24. pii: S1534-5807(21)01040-6. [Epub ahead of print]57(2): 260-276.e9
      Metabolic flexibility is a hallmark of many cancers where mitochondrial respiration is critically involved, but the molecular underpinning of mitochondrial control of cancer metabolic reprogramming is poorly understood. Here, we show that reverse electron transfer (RET) through respiratory chain complex I (RC-I) is particularly active in brain cancer stem cells (CSCs). Although RET generates ROS, NAD+/NADH ratio turns out to be key in mediating RET effect on CSC proliferation, in part through the NAD+-dependent Sirtuin. Mechanistically, Notch acts in an unconventional manner to regulate RET by interacting with specific RC-I proteins containing electron-transporting Fe-S clusters and NAD(H)-binding sites. Genetic and pharmacological interference of Notch-mediated RET inhibited CSC growth in Drosophila brain tumor and mouse glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) models. Our results identify Notch as a regulator of RET and RET-induced NAD+/NADH balance, a critical mechanism of metabolic reprogramming and a metabolic vulnerability of cancer that may be exploited for therapeutic purposes.
    Keywords:  NAD(+)/NADH; Sirtuin; Warburg effect; glioblastoma multiforme; inflammation; metabolic reprogramming; mitochondrial complex I; non-canonical Notch signaling; reactive oxygen species; reverse electron transport
  2. Cell Rep. 2022 Jan 25. pii: S2211-1247(21)01805-2. [Epub ahead of print]38(4): 110290
      Invaginations of the mitochondrial inner membrane, termed cristae, are hubs for oxidative phosphorylation. The mitochondrial contact site and cristae organizing system (MICOS) and the dimeric F1Fo-ATP synthase play important roles in controlling cristae architecture. A fraction of the MICOS core subunit Mic10 is found in association with the ATP synthase, yet it is unknown whether this interaction is of relevance for mitochondrial or cellular functions. Here, we established conditions to selectively study the role of Mic10 at the ATP synthase. Mic10 variants impaired in MICOS functions stimulate ATP synthase oligomerization like wild-type Mic10 and promote efficient inner membrane energization, adaptation to non-fermentable carbon sources, and respiratory growth. Mic10's functions in respiratory growth largely depend on Mic10ATPsynthase, not on Mic10MICOS. We conclude that Mic10 plays a dual role as core subunit of MICOS and as partner of the F1Fo-ATP synthase, serving distinct functions in cristae shaping and respiratory adaptation and growth.
    Keywords:  ATP synthase; MICOS; Mic10; cristae organization; inner membrane; membrane architecture; membrane potential; metabolic adaptation; mitochondria; respiration
  3. Oxid Med Cell Longev. 2022 ;2022 8038857
      Mitochondrial reactive oxygen species (mitoROS) are a double-edged sword in cancer progression, connoting the ROS-dependent malignant transformation and the oxidative stress-induced cell death. However, the underlying role of mitoROS in thyroid cancer remains unclear. Here, we collected 35 prominent mitoROS regulators to stratify 510 thyroid cancer patients in TCGA cohort through consensus clustering. Three molecular subtypes (cluster 1/2/3) were identified, among which cluster 1 (mitoROSlow) was preferentially associated with unfavorable prognosis. Individually, there were 12 regulators with a high expression that predicted a significantly favorable progression-free survival. The NADH:Ubiquinone Oxidoreductase Subunit B3 (NDUFB3) had a highest impact. NDUFB3 knockdown significantly reduced mitoROS levels in BCPAP and C643 cells. Bioinformatically, the consistency between NDUFB3 expression and cluster 1/2/3 was confirmed; lower expression of NUDFB3 was associated with a poor clinical outcome. Pathway analysis of differentially expressed genes in the NDUFB3low and NDUFB3high cohorts revealed a predominance of oxidative phosphorylation pathway changes. Consistently, mitochondrial functions, including oxygen consumption rate, ATP levels, complex I activity, mitoROS levels, and the expression of mitochondrially encoded NADH:Ubiquinone oxidoreductase core subunit 5, were significantly increased in NDUFB3-overexpressed BCPAP cells or C643 cells. The in vivo NDUFB3 overexpression and sideroxylin treatment significantly suppressed tumor growth and prolonged survival, concurrently elevating mitoROS levels ex vivo in mouse xenograft models. Conversely, NDUFB3 knockdown had the opposite effect. Together, these findings implicated the importance of mitoROS regulators in predicting clinical outcomes of patients with thyroid cancer. Our findings may pave the way for developing a mitoROS-based treatment for thyroid cancer patients.
  4. mBio. 2022 Jan 25. e0209621
      Mitochondria are dynamic organelles vital for energy production with now appreciated roles in immune defense. During microbial infection, mitochondria serve as signaling hubs to induce immune responses to counteract invading pathogens like viruses. Mitochondrial functions are central to a variety of antiviral responses including apoptosis and type I interferon signaling (IFN-I). While apoptosis and IFN-I mediated by mitochondrial antiviral signaling (MAVS) are well-established defenses, new dimensions of mitochondrial biology are emerging as battlefronts during viral infection. Increasingly, it has become apparent that mitochondria serve as reservoirs for distinct cues that trigger immune responses and that alterations in mitochondrial morphology may also tip infection outcomes. Furthermore, new data are foreshadowing pivotal roles for classic, homeostatic facets of this organelle as host-virus interfaces, namely, the tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle and electron transport chain (ETC) complexes like respiratory supercomplexes. Underscoring the importance of "housekeeping" mitochondrial activities in viral infection is the growing list of viral-encoded inhibitors including mimics derived from cellular genes that antagonize these functions. For example, virologs for ETC factors and several enzymes from the TCA cycle have been recently identified in DNA virus genomes and serve to pinpoint new vulnerabilities during infection. Here, we highlight recent advances for known antiviral functions associated with mitochondria as well as where the next battlegrounds may be based on viral effectors. Collectively, new methodology and mechanistic insights over the coming years will strengthen our understanding of how an ancient molecular truce continues to defend cells against viruses.
    Keywords:  C15orf48; DAMP; MAVS; MISTR; NDUFA4; OXPHOS; TCA cycle; apoptosis; interferon; micropeptides; mimics; mitochondria; mitochondrial dynamics; mtDNA; mtROS; mtdsRNA; pyroptosis; supercomplexes; virologs; virus
  5. Antioxid Redox Signal. 2022 Jan 24.
      BACKGROUND: Mitochondrial Na+ has been discovered as a new second messenger regulating inner mitochondrial membrane (IMM) fluidity and ROS production by complex III (CIII). However, the roles of mitochondrial Na+ in mitochondrial redox signalling go beyond than initially expected.SIGNIFICANCE: In this review, we systematize the current knowledge on mitochondrial Na+ homeostasis and its implications on different modes of ROS production by mitochondria. Na+ behaves as a positive modulator of forward mitochondrial ROS production by either complex III (CIII) or by decreasing antioxidant capacity of mitochondria, and as a potential negative modulator of reverse electron transfer (RET) by complex I (CI). Such duality depends on the bioenergetic status, cation and redox contexts, and can either lead to potential adaptations or cell death.
    FUTURE DIRECTIONS: Direct Na+ interaction with phospholipids, proven in the IMM, allows us to hypothesize its potential role in the existence and function of lipid rafts in other biological membranes regarding redox homeostasis, as well as the potential role of other monovalent cations in membrane biology. Thus, we provide the reader an update on the emerging field of mitochondrial Na+ homeostasis and its relationship with mitochondrial redox signalling.
  6. ACS Omega. 2022 Jan 18. 7(2): 1682-1693
      Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is an aggressive blood cancer with limited effective chemotherapy options and negative patient outcomes. Food-derived molecules such as avocatin B (Avo B), a fatty-acid oxidation (FAO) inhibitor, are promising novel therapeutics. The roots of the Curcuma amada plants have been historically used in traditional medicine, but isolated bioactive compounds have seldom been studied. Here, we report that 2,4,6-trihydroxy-3,5-diprenyldihydrochalcone (M1), a bioactive from C. Amada, possesses novel anticancer activity. This in vitro study investigated the antileukemia properties of M1 and its effects on mitochondrial metabolism. In combination with Avo B, M1 synergistically reduced AML cell line viability and patient-derived clonogenic growth with no effect on normal peripheral blood stem cells. Mechanistically, M1 alone inhibited mitochondria complex I, while the M1/Avo B combination inhibited FAO by 60%, a process essential to the synergy. These results identified a novel food-derived bioactive and its potential as a novel chemotherapeutic for AML.
  7. Aging Cell. 2022 Jan 28. e13539
      Mild uncoupling of oxidative phosphorylation is an intrinsic property of all mitochondria and may have evolved to protect cells against the production of damaging reactive oxygen species. Therefore, compounds that enhance mitochondrial uncoupling are potentially attractive anti-aging therapies; however, chronic ingestion is associated with a number of unwanted side effects. We have previously developed a controlled-release mitochondrial protonophore (CRMP) that is functionally liver-directed and promotes oxidation of hepatic triglycerides by causing a subtle sustained increase in hepatic mitochondrial inefficiency. Here, we sought to leverage the higher therapeutic index of CRMP to test whether mild mitochondrial uncoupling in a liver-directed fashion could reduce oxidative damage and improve age-related metabolic disease and lifespan in diet-induced obese mice. Oral administration of CRMP (20 mg/[kg-day] × 4 weeks) reduced hepatic lipid content, protein kinase C epsilon activation, and hepatic insulin resistance in aged (74-week-old) high-fat diet (HFD)-fed C57BL/6J male mice, independently of changes in body weight, whole-body energy expenditure, food intake, or markers of hepatic mitochondrial biogenesis. CRMP treatment was also associated with a significant reduction in hepatic lipid peroxidation, protein carbonylation, and inflammation. Importantly, long-term (49 weeks) hepatic mitochondrial uncoupling initiated late in life (94-104 weeks), in conjugation with HFD feeding, protected mice against neoplastic disorders, including hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), in a strain and sex-specific manner. Taken together, these studies illustrate the complex variation of aging and provide important proof-of-concept data to support further studies investigating the use of liver-directed mitochondrial uncouplers to promote healthy aging in humans.
    Keywords:  2,4-dinitrophenol; anti-aging; hepatic steatosis; insulin sensitivity; longevity; mitochondrial uncoupling
  8. Mol Ther. 2022 Jan 24. pii: S1525-0016(22)00032-6. [Epub ahead of print]
      Hepatoblastoma is the most common liver cancer in children, and the aggressive subtype often has a poor prognosis and lacks effective targeted therapy. Although aggressive HB is often accompanied by abnormally high expression of the transcription factor c-Myc, the underlying mechanism remains unclear. In this study, we found that mitochondrial fragmentation was enhanced by c-Myc overexpression in human aggressive HB tissues and was associated with poor prognosis. Then, a mouse model resembling human HB was established via hydrodynamic injection of c-Myc plasmids. We observed that liver-specific knockout of mitochondrial fusion molecule MFN1 or overexpression of mitochondrial fission molecule DRP1 promoted the occurrence of c-Myc-driven liver cancer. In contrast, when MFN1 was overexpressed in the liver, tumor formation was delayed. In vitro experiments showed that c-Myc transcriptionally upregulated the expression of DRP1 and decreased MFN1 expression through upregulation of miR-373-3p. Moreover, enhanced mitochondrial fragmentation significantly promoted aerobic glycolysis and the proliferation of HB cells by significantly increasing ROS production and activating the AKT/mTOR and NF-κB pathways. Taken together, our results indicate that c-Myc-mediated mitochondrial fragmentation promotes malignant transformation and progression of HB by activating ROS-mediated multi-oncogenic signaling.
  9. J Lipid Res. 2022 Jan 20. pii: S0022-2275(22)00005-0. [Epub ahead of print] 100172
      Disturbances in lipid homeostasis can cause mitochondrial dysfunction and lipotoxicity. Perilipin 5 (PLIN5) decorates intracellular lipid droplets (LD) in oxidative tissues and controls triacylglycerol (TG) turnover via its interactions with Adipose triglyceride lipase (ATGL) and the ATGL co-activator Comparative gene identification-58 (CGI-58). Furthermore, PLIN5 anchors mitochondria to the LD membrane via the outermost part of the carboxyl-terminus. However, the role of this LD-mitochondria coupling (LDMC) in cellular energy catabolism is less established. In this study, we investigated the impact of PLIN5-mediated LDMC in comparison to disrupted LDMC on cellular TG homeostasis, FA oxidation, mitochondrial respiration and protein interaction. To do so, we established PLIN5 mutants deficient in LDMC whilst maintaining normal interactions with key lipolytic players. Radiotracer studies with cell lines stably overexpressing wild type or truncated PLIN5 revealed that LDMC has no significant impact on FA esterification upon lipid loading or TG catabolism during stimulated lipolysis. Moreover, we demonstrated that LDMC exerts a minor if any role in mitochondrial FA oxidation. In contrast, LDMC significantly improved the mitochondrial respiratory capacity and metabolic flexibility of lipid-challenged cardiomyocytes, which was corroborated by LDMC-dependent interactions of PLIN5 with mitochondrial proteins involved in mitochondrial respiration, dynamics and cristae organization. Taken together, this study suggests that PLIN5 preserves mitochondrial function by adjusting FA supply via the regulation of TG hydrolysis and that LDMC is a vital part of mitochondrial integrity.
    Keywords:  Adipose-triglyceride lipase; Comparative gene identification-58; Lipid droplets; PLIN5; cardiovascular disease; fatty acid oxidation; lipid droplet-mitochondria coupling; lipolysis; lipotoxicity; mitochondrial respiration
  10. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab. 2022 Jan 24.
      Neuromedin B (NB), a bombesin-like peptide, exerts its specific actions by binding to the neuromedin B receptor (NBR), a G protein-coupled receptor. Female NBR-knockout (NBR-KO) mice exhibit resistance to diet-induced obesity, without hyperphagia, suggesting possible increase in energy expenditure. Skeletal muscle (SM) is crucial for whole-body energy homeostasis, however the presence of NB-NBR signaling and effects in SM are unknown. Here we show that male and female wild type express Nmbr and Nmb mRNA in SM, with higher levels in females. Female NBR-KO gastrocnemius showed increased Myh7 mRNA level, which characterizes type I fibers (oxidative profile). Their permeabilized gastrocnemius fibers, studied by high-resolution respirometry, exhibited higher consumption of O2 coupled to ATP synthesis and unaltered uncoupled respiration. NBR-KO gastrocnemius had higher protein levels of ATP-synthase, and of Nduf9 mRNA, corresponding to mitochondrial complex I subunit. NBR-KO gastrocnemius exhibited slight increase in mitochondria number, increased thickness of Z line at electron microscopy, and unaltered mitochondrial dynamics markers. Therefore, in the females´ gastrocnemius, a predominantly glycolytic SM, the NBR absence promotes changes that favor mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation capacity. Additionally, in L6 myocytes, NB treatment (5 μg/mL/16 h) promoted lower O2 consumption coupled to ATP synthesis, suggesting direct action at SM cells. Altogether, the study reinforces the hypothesis that inhibition of NB-NBR signaling enhances the capacity for oxidative phosphorylation of white SM, encouraging future studies to elucidate their contribution on other types of SM and to whole body energy expenditure, which may lead to a new target to drug development for obesity treatment.
    Keywords:  G protein-coupled receptor; energy metabolism; mitochondrial energetics; neuromedin B receptor; skeletal muscle
  11. JBMR Plus. 2022 Jan;6(1): e10572
      The relationship between the active form of vitamin D3 (1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D, 1,25(OH)2D) and reactive oxygen species (ROS), two integral signaling molecules of the cell, is poorly understood. This is striking, given that both factors are involved in cancer cell regulation and metabolism. Mitochondria (mt) dysfunction is one of the main drivers of cancer, producing more mitochondria, higher cellular energy, and ROS that can enhance oxidative stress and stress tolerance responses. To study the effects of 1,25(OH)2D on metabolic and mt dysfunction, we used the vitamin D receptor (VDR)-sensitive MG-63 osteosarcoma cell model. Using biochemical approaches, 1,25(OH)2D decreased mt ROS levels, membrane potential (ΔΨmt), biogenesis, and translation, while enforcing endoplasmic reticulum/mitohormetic stress adaptive responses. Using a mitochondria-focused transcriptomic approach, gene set enrichment and pathway analyses show that 1,25(OH)2D lowered mt fusion/fission and oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS). By contrast, mitophagy, ROS defense, and epigenetic gene regulation were enhanced after 1,25(OH)2D treatment, as well as key metabolic enzymes that regulate fluxes of substrates for cellular architecture and a shift toward non-oxidative energy metabolism. ATACseq revealed putative oxi-sensitive and tumor-suppressing transcription factors that may regulate important mt functional genes such as the mTORC1 inhibitor, DDIT4/REDD1. DDIT4/REDD1 was predominantly localized to the outer mt membrane in untreated MG-63 cells yet sequestered in the cytoplasm after 1,25(OH)2D and rotenone treatments, suggesting a level of control by membrane depolarization to facilitate its cytoplasmic mTORC1 inhibitory function. The results show that 1,25(OH)2D activates distinct adaptive metabolic responses involving mitochondria to regain redox balance and control the growth of osteosarcoma cells. © 2021 The Authors. JBMR Plus published by Wiley Periodicals LLC on behalf of American Society for Bone and Mineral Research.
  12. Front Cell Dev Biol. 2021 ;9 738916
      Recently, there has been a growing interest on the role of mitochondria in metastatic cascade. Several reports have shown the preferential utilization of glycolytic pathway instead of mitochondrial respiration for energy production and the pyruvate dehydrogenase (PDH) has been considered to be a contributor to this switch in some cancers. Since epithelial mesenchymal transition (EMT) is proposed to be one of the significant mediators of metastasis, the molecular connections between cancer cell metabolism and EMT may reveal underlying mechanisms and improve our understanding on metastasis. In order to explore a potential role for PDH inhibition on EMT and associated drug resistance, we took both pharmacological and genetic approaches, and selectively inhibited or knocked down PDHA1 by using Cpi613 and shPDHA1, respectively. We found that both approaches triggered morphological changes and characteristics of EMT (increase in mesenchymal markers). This change was accompanied by enhanced wound healing and an increase in migration. Interestingly, cells were more resistant to many of the clinically used chemotherapeutics following PDH inhibition or PDHA1 knockdown. Furthermore, the TGFβRI (known as a major inducer of the EMT) inhibitor (SB-431542) together with the PDHi, was effective in reversing EMT. In conclusion, interfering with PDH induced EMT, and more importantly resulted in chemoresistance. Therefore, our study demonstrates the need for careful consideration of PDH-targeting approaches in cancer treatment.
    Keywords:  cancer metabolism; drug resistance; epithelial mesenchymal transition; lung cancer; pyruvate dehydrogenase complex
  13. Clin Transl Med. 2022 Jan;12(1): e658
      BACKGROUND: Despite improved surgical approaches for chronic limb-threatening ischemia (CLTI), amputation rates remain high and contributing tissue-level factors remain unknown. The purpose of this study was twofold: (1) to identify differences between the healthy adult and CLTI limb muscle proteome, and (2) to identify differences in the limb muscle proteome of CLTI patients prior to surgical intervention or at the time of amputation.METHODS AND RESULTS: Gastrocnemius muscle was collected from non-ischemic controls (n = 19) and either pre-interventional surgery (n = 10) or at amputation outcome (n = 29) CLTI patients. All samples were subjected to isobaric tandem-mass-tag-assisted proteomics. The mitochondrion was the primary classification of downregulated proteins (> 70%) in CLTI limb muscles and paralleled robust functional mitochondrial impairment. Upregulated proteins (> 38%) were largely from the extracellular matrix. Across the two independent sites, 39 proteins were downregulated and 12 upregulated uniformly. Pre-interventional CLTI muscles revealed a robust upregulation of mitochondrial proteins but modest functional impairments in fatty acid oxidation as compared with controls. Comparison of pre-intervention and amputation CLTI limb muscles revealed mitochondrial proteome and functional deficits similar to that between amputation and non-ischemic controls. Interestingly, these observed changes occurred despite 62% of the amputation CLTI patients having undergone a prior surgical intervention.
    CONCLUSIONS: The CLTI proteome supports failing mitochondria as a phenotype that is unique to amputation outcomes. The signature of pre-intervention CLTI muscle reveals stable mitochondrial protein abundance that is insufficient to uniformly prevent functional impairments. Taken together, these findings support the need for future longitudinal investigations aimed to determine whether mitochondrial failure is causally involved in amputation outcomes from CLTI.
    Keywords:  metabolism; peripheral artery disease; surgery; vascular disease
  14. Cancer Chemother Pharmacol. 2022 Jan 24.
      PURPOSE: Despite efforts in developing effective therapeutic strategies, colorectal cancer (CRC) remains one of the most prevalent and lethal neoplasms. Repurposing approved drugs is an alluring strategy for developing anticancer agents. Some antipsychotic drugs, including chlorpromazine (CPZ), possess anticancer activities. However, the pharmacological effects of CPZ on CRC have not been clearly established.METHODS: MTT assay, flow cytometry, western blotting analysis, subcutaneous mice tumor, and tail-vein-injection established lung metastasis model were used to investigate the anticancer effects of CPZ on CRC and the underlying mechanism.
    RESULTS: We found that CPZ effectively suppressed CRC by inducing G2/M cell cycle arrest and apoptosis. Cell cycle arrest was associated with decreased activities of the cdc2/cyclin B1 complex, including suppressed expression of cyclin B1, cdc2 and cdc25c, and elevated expression levels of phosphorylated cdc2 (Tyr15). Moreover, CPZ suppressed mitochondrial membrane potential and elevated reactive oxygen species levels in cancer cells, implying that it induces mitochondria-dependent intrinsic apoptosis. CPZ blocked the autophagic flux and induced cytotoxic autophagy in CRC cells. In addition, CPZ suppressed tumor growth in two subcutaneous mouse models without causing obvious side effects. Analysis of the abundance of immune cells in the tumor microenvironment revealed that CPZ did not have an effect on their proportions. Furthermore, it significantly suppressed the lung metastasis of CT26 cells and prolonged mice survival.
    CONCLUSION: These findings indicated that repurposing CPZ is a novel treatment strategy for CRC patients.
    Keywords:  Apoptosis; Cell cycle arrest; Chlorpromazine; Metastasis
  15. Mol Biol Cell. 2022 Jan 26. mbcE21030143
      Assembly of the dimeric complex III (CIII2) in the mitochondrial inner membrane is an intricate process, in which several accessory proteins are involved as assembly factors. Despite numerous studies, this process is yet to be fully understood. Here we report the identification of human OCIAD2 (Ovarian Carcinoma Immunoreactive Antigen domain containing protein 2) protein as an assembly factor for CIII2. OCIAD2 was found deregulated in several carcinomas and also in some neurogenerative disorders, however its non-pathological role had not been elucidated.  We have shown that OCIAD2 localizes to mitochondria and interacts with electron transport chain (ETC) proteins. Complete loss of OCIAD2 using gene editing in HEK293 cells resulted in abnormal mitochondrial morphology, a substantial decrease of both CIII2 and supercomplex III2+IV, and reduction in CIII enzymatic activity. Identification of OCIAD2 as a protein required for assembly of functional CIII2 provides a new insight into the biogenesis and architecture of the ETC. Elucidating the mechanism of OCIAD2 action is important both for the understanding of cellular metabolism and for an understanding of its role in malignant transformation.
  16. J Control Release. 2022 Jan 22. pii: S0168-3659(22)00039-6. [Epub ahead of print]
      As the major energy supplier in cells, mitochondria play a significant role in regulating cellular processes. The pathogenesis of various diseases is found to be associated with dysfunctional mitochondria, and supplement of functional mitochondria has been regarded as a potential therapeutic strategy. To achieve mitochondrial replenishment, transplantation of isolated mitochondria or utilization of cells as selective mitochondrial carrier have been developed. On the one hand, isolated mitochondria can be internalized into injured cells to restore impaired functions. On the other hand, the natural process of intercellular mitochondrial transfer can replace the dysfunctional mitochondria with functional mitochondria, providing a safe and effective way to rescue damaged tissues. Cell mediated mitochondrial transfer can serve as a promising targeted therapy with mitochondria being high-efficient biotherapeutics. In this review, we summarize the updated findings of mitochondrial delivery strategies, offering an overview of the role of mitochondria, mechanisms of intercellular mitochondrial transfer, therapeutic benefits, challenges and prospects of mitochondrial delivery. The understanding of mitochondrial delivery helps to improve the therapeutic outcomes of mitochondrial dysfunctional diseases in the future.
    Keywords:  Delivery; Mitochondria; Regenerative potential; Stem cells; Transplantation
  17. Bioorg Med Chem Lett. 2022 Jan 24. pii: S0960-894X(22)00062-2. [Epub ahead of print] 128586
      Menadione (VK3) is used as a powerful inducer of cellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) for many years and displays the high anti-cancer activities in vivo. Recently, the development of mitochondria-targeted drugs has been more and more appreciated. Here, the thirteen derivatives of VK3 were synthesized, which could localize in mitochondria by the triphenylphosphonium (TPP) cation or the nitrogen-based cation. The results of cytotoxicity from six human cancer cell lines showed that the targeted compounds T1-T13 displayed higher activity than VK3 with the average IC50 value around 1 μM. The results of cytotoxicity indicated that the substitutes on C-2, the linear alkyl chains on C-3 and cation moiety all could affect the cytotoxicity. The mechanistic studies showed that five representative compounds (T2, T3, T5, T8 and T13) could localize in cellular mitochondria, elicit ROS burst and collapse mitochondrial membrane potential (ΔΨm), leading to cytochrome C release and apoptosis in MGC-803 cells. Particularly, they could obviously inhibit mitochondrial thioredoxin reductase TrxR2 expression, thus leading to aggravate cellular oxidative stress.
    Keywords:  menadione; mitochondria-targeted drugs; mitochondrial thioredoxin reductase; naphthoquinone
  18. iScience. 2022 Jan 21. 25(1): 103730
      Acetylation and phosphorylation are highly conserved posttranslational modifications (PTMs) that regulate cellular metabolism, yet how metabolic control is shared between these PTMs is unknown. Here we analyze transcriptome, proteome, acetylome, and phosphoproteome datasets in E. coli, S. cerevisiae, and mammalian cells across diverse conditions using CAROM, a new approach that uses genome-scale metabolic networks and machine learning to classify targets of PTMs. We built a single machine learning model that predicted targets of each PTM in a condition across all three organisms based on reaction attributes (AUC>0.8). Our model predicted phosphorylated enzymes during a mammalian cell-cycle, which we validate using phosphoproteomics. Interpreting the machine learning model using game theory uncovered enzyme properties including network connectivity, essentiality, and condition-specific factors such as maximum flux that differentiate targets of phosphorylation from acetylation. The conserved and predictable partitioning of metabolic regulation identified here between these PTMs may enable rational rewiring of regulatory circuits.
    Keywords:  Metabolic flux analysis; Omics; Systems biology
  19. FASEB J. 2022 Feb;36(2): e22146
      Mitochondria are maternally inherited organelles that play critical tissue-specific roles, including hormone synthesis and energy production, that influence human development, health, and aging. However, whether mitochondria from women and men exhibit consistent biological differences remains unclear, representing a major gap in knowledge. This meta-analysis systematically examined four domains and six subdomains of mitochondrial biology (total 39 measures), including mitochondrial content, respiratory capacity, reactive oxygen species (ROS) production, morphometry, and mitochondrial DNA copy number. Standardized effect sizes (Hedge's g) of sex differences were computed for each measure using data in 2258 participants (51.5% women) from 50 studies. Only two measures demonstrated aggregate binary sex differences: higher mitochondrial content in women's WAT and isolated leukocyte subpopulations (g = 0.20, χ2 p = .01), and higher ROS production in men's skeletal muscle (g = 0.49, χ2 p < .0001). Sex differences showed weak to no correlation with age or BMI. Studies with small sample sizes tended to overestimate effect sizes (r = -.17, p < .001), and sex differences varied by tissue examined. Our findings point to a wide variability of findings in the literature concerning possible binary sex differences in mitochondrial biology. Studies specifically designed to capture sex- and gender-related differences in mitochondrial biology are needed, including detailed considerations of physical activity and sex hormones.
    Keywords:  mitochondrion; mtDNAcn; respirometry; sex differences; sexual dimorphism
  20. NPJ Precis Oncol. 2022 Jan 27. 6(1): 8
      Immunometabolism within the tumor microenvironment is an appealing target for precision therapy approaches in lung cancer. Interestingly, obesity confers an improved response to immune checkpoint inhibition in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), suggesting intriguing relationships between systemic metabolism and the immunometabolic environment in lung tumors. We hypothesized that visceral fat and 18F-Fluorodeoxyglucose uptake influenced the tumor immunometabolic environment and that these bidirectional relationships differ in NSCLC subtypes, lung adenocarcinoma (LUAD) and lung squamous cell carcinoma (LUSC). By integrating 18F-FDG PET/CT imaging, bulk and single-cell RNA-sequencing, and histology, we observed that LUSC had a greater dependence on glucose than LUAD. In LUAD tumors with high glucose uptake, glutaminase was downregulated, suggesting a tradeoff between glucose and glutamine metabolism, while in LUSC tumors with high glucose uptake, genes related to fatty acid and amino acid metabolism were also increased. We found that tumor-infiltrating T cells had the highest expression of glutaminase, ribosomal protein 37, and cystathionine gamma-lyase in NSCLC, highlighting the metabolic flexibility of this cell type. Further, we demonstrate that visceral adiposity, but not body mass index (BMI), was positively associated with tumor glucose uptake in LUAD and that patients with high BMI had favorable prognostic transcriptional profiles, while tumors of patients with high visceral fat had poor prognostic gene expression. We posit that metabolic adjunct therapy may be more successful in LUSC rather than LUAD due to LUAD's metabolic flexibility and that visceral adiposity, not BMI alone, should be considered when developing precision medicine approaches for the treatment of NSCLC.
  21. Sci Transl Med. 2022 Jan 26. 14(629): eabh2548
      Leukemia stem cells (LSCs) propagate leukemia and are responsible for the high frequency of relapse of treated patients. The ability to target LSCs remains elusive, indicating a need to understand the underlying mechanism of LSC formation. Here, we report that miR-31-5p is reduced or undetectable in human LSCs compared to hematopoietic stem progenitor cells (HSPCs). Inhibition of miR-31-5p in HSPCs promotes the expression of its target gene FIH, encoding FIH [factor inhibiting hypoxia-inducing factor 1α (HIF-1α)], to suppress HIF-1α signaling. Increased FIH resulted in a switch from glycolysis to oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) as the predominant mode of energy metabolism and increased the abundance of the oncometabolite fumarate. Increased fumarate promoted the conversion of HSPCs to LSCs and initiated myeloid leukemia-like disease in NOD-Prkdcscid IL2rgtm1/Bcgen (B-NDG) mice. We further demonstrated that miR-31-5p inhibited long- and short-term hematopoietic stem cells with a high frequency of LSCs. In combination with the chemotherapeutic agent Ara-C (cytosine arabinoside), restoration of miR-31-5p using G7 poly (amidoamine) nanosized dendriplex encapsulating miR-31-5p eliminated LSCs and inhibited acute myeloid leukemia (AML) progression in patient-derived xenograft mouse models. These results demonstrated a mechanism of HSC malignant transformation through altered energy metabolism and provided a potential therapeutic strategy to treat patients with AML.
  22. Cell Death Dis. 2022 Jan 27. 13(1): 89
      We report here that the potent HNF4α agonist N-trans-caffeoyltyramine (NCT) promotes weight loss by inducing an increase in mitochondrial mass and function, including fatty acid oxidation. Previously, we found in a short term trial in obese mice that NCT promoted reversal of hepatic steatosis through a mechanism involving the stimulation of lipophagy by dihydroceramides. NCT led to increased dihydroceramide levels by inhibiting dihydroceramide conversion to ceramides. Here, we were able to administer NCT orally, permitting longer term administration. Mice fed NCT mixed with high fat diet exhibited decreased weight. Examination of RNA-seq data revealed an increase in PPARGC1A, a central regulator of mitochondrial biogenesis. In addition to the decreased hepatic steatosis that we found previously, mice fed a high fat diet containing NCT mice weighed substantially less than control mice fed high fat diet alone. They had increased mitochondrial mass, exhibited increased fatty acid oxidation, and had an increased level of NAD. Markers of liver inflammation such as interleukin-6 (IL-6) and tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFα), which are important in the progression of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease to non-alcoholic steatohepatitis were decreased by NCT. There was no evidence of any toxicity from NCT consumption. These results indicate that HNF4α is an important regulator of mitochondrial mass and function and support that use of HNF4α to treat disorders of fatty acid excess, potentially including obesity, NAFLD, and NASH.
  23. Nat Commun. 2022 Jan 27. 13(1): 545
      Proton-translocating respiratory complexes assemble into supercomplexes that are proposed to increase the efficiency of energy conversion and limit the production of harmful reactive oxygen species during aerobic cellular respiration. Cytochrome bc complexes and cytochrome aa3 oxidases are major drivers of the proton motive force that fuels ATP generation via respiration, but how wasteful electron- and proton transfer is controlled to enhance safety and efficiency in the context of supercomplexes is not known. Here, we address this question with the 2.8 Å resolution cryo-EM structure of the cytochrome bcc-aa3 (III2-IV2) supercomplex from the actinobacterium Corynebacterium glutamicum. Menaquinone, substrate mimics, lycopene, an unexpected Qc site, dioxygen, proton transfer routes, and conformational states of key protonable residues are resolved. Our results show how safe and efficient energy conversion is achieved in a respiratory supercomplex through controlled electron and proton transfer. The structure may guide the rational design of drugs against actinobacteria that cause diphtheria and tuberculosis.
  24. Pharmacol Res. 2022 Jan 21. pii: S1043-6618(22)00040-8. [Epub ahead of print]177 106095
      The BCL-XL-selective inhibitors exhibit potential clinical application value when combined with chemotherapeutic drugs for the treatment of solid tumors. However, their efficacy in these settings is still low when treated with BCL-XL inhibitors alone in solid tumors. The mechanism responsible for the poor efficacy remains unclear. We show here that unable to interact with target of BCL-XL-selective inhibitors caused by invalid entry into mitochondria is essential for their inefficacy in solid tumors. We demonstrated in non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) cells that the instability of A-1155463 in cells as well as invalid entry into mitochondria of A-1331852, two BCL-XL-selective inhibitors, accounted for their off-target problems. Furthermore, we found that a mitochondria-targeted, non-toxic small molecule NA-2a improved the on-target effect of A-1331852 to enhance its apoptotic regulatory activity, thereby increasing its anticancer activity in NSCLC. Our results indicated that NA-2a was selectively enriched in mitochondria transported by organic-anion-transporting polypeptide (OATP) transporters, which altered the permeability of the mitochondrial membrane, thereby promoting the entrance of A-1331852 to mitochondria and enhancing its disruption of the BIM-BCL-XL complex, which finally led to the increased anticancer activity in vitro and in vivo. Collectively, our data provided overwhelming evidence that the combination of NA-2a and A-1331852 could be used as a promising synergistic therapeutic agent in NSCLC therapy.
    Keywords:  BCL-X(L)-selective inhibitor; Improve; Off-target; On-target; Synergistic therapy
  25. Transl Lung Cancer Res. 2021 Dec;10(12): 4459-4476
      Background: Metabolic reprogramming is a major feature of many tumors including non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Branched-chain α-keto acid dehydrogenase kinase (BCKDK) plays an important role in diabetes, obesity, and other diseases. However, the function of BCKDK in NSCLC is unclear. This study aimed to explore the function of BCKDK in NSCLC.Methods: Metabolites in the serum of patients with NSCLC and the supernatant of NSCLC cell cultures were detected using nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy. Colony formation, cell proliferation, and cell apoptosis were assessed to investigate the function of BCKDK in the progression of NSCLC. Glucose uptake, lactate production, cellular oxygen consumption rate, extracellular acidification rate, and reactive oxygen species (ROS) were measured to examine the function of BCKDK in glucose metabolism. The expression of BCKDK was measured using reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction, western blot, and immunohistochemical assay.
    Results: Compared with healthy controls and postoperative NSCLC patients, increased branched-chain amino acid (BCAA) and decreased citrate were identified in the serum of preoperative NSCLC patients. Upregulation of BCKDK affected the metabolism of BCAAs and citrate in NSCLC cells. Knockout of BCKDK decreased the proliferation and exacerbated apoptosis of NSCLC cells ex vivo, while increased oxidative phosphorylation and, ROS levels, and inhibited glycolysis.
    Conclusions: BCKDK may influence glycolysis and oxidative phosphorylation by regulating the degradation of BCAA and citrate, thereby affecting the progression of NSCLC.
    Keywords:  Branched-chain α-keto acid dehydrogenase kinase (BCKDK); branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs); citrate; glucose metabolism; non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC)
  26. Cancer Chemother Pharmacol. 2022 Jan 23.
      PURPOSE: To address whether Curcumin has synergistic effect with cytarabine (Ara-C) in treating acute myeloid leukemia (AML).METHODS: A xenograft AML mouse model was established by injecting HL-60 cells into tail vein of mice to assess the function of Curcumin. Mononuclear cells (MNCs) isolated from AML mice and AML cell lines were used to examine the effect of Curcumin. Metagenomics and metabolomics were used to evaluate the alteration of intestinal microbiota and the change of metabolites in MNCs.
    RESULTS: Curcumin treatment sensitized response to Ara-C in MNCs of AML mice, but had no direct effect on AML cell lines. Metagenomics revealed an alteration of intestinal microbiota with Curcumin treatment, which contributes to sensitized response to Ara-C. Curcumin treatment led to enhanced intestinal intact to sensitize response to Ara-C in AML mice, through reducing mucus degrading bacteria. Metabolomics demonstrated that Curcumin treatment led to decreased cholesterol in MNCs of AML mice. Further study proved that Curcumin treatment resulted in inhibition of SQLE, a key enzyme of cholesterol biosynthesis, to increase sensitivity to Ara-C.
    CONCLUSION: Curcumin sensitizes response to Ara-C through regulating microbiota, highlighting the importance of intestinal intact strengthening in chemoresistant therapy. Moreover, aiming at cholesterol synthesis is promising in AML treatment.
    Keywords:  Acute myeloid leukemia; Cholesterol; Curcumin; Cytarabine; Microbiota; SQLE