bims-mibica Biomed News
on Mitochondrial bioenergetics in cancer
Issue of 2022‒02‒13
forty-three papers selected by
Kelsey Fisher-Wellman
East Carolina University

  1. Cancer Lett. 2022 Feb 02. pii: S0304-3835(22)00051-9. [Epub ahead of print]532 215582
      Interaction between stromal cells and acute myeloid leukemia (AML) cells in bone marrow (BM) is known to contribute importantly to chemoresistance and disease recurrence. Therefore, disruption of a crosstalk between AML cells and BM microenvironment may offer a promising therapeutic strategy for AML treatment. Here, we demonstrate that in a niche-like co-culture system, AML cells took up functional mitochondria from bone marrow stromal cells (BMSCs) and inhibition of such mitochondrial transfer by metformin, the most commonly prescribed drug for type 2 diabetes mellitus, significantly enhanced the chemosensitivity of AML cells co-cultured with BMSCs. The chemo-sensitizing effect of metformin was acted through reducing the mitochondrial transfer and mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) in the recipient AML cells. In addition, metformin potentiated the antitumor efficacy of cytarabine (Ara-C) in vivo in an NCG immunodeficient mouse xenograft model by inhibiting the mitochondrial transfer and OXPHOS activity in the engrafted human AML cells. Altogether, this study identifies a potential application of metformin in sensitizing AML cells to chemotherapy and unveils a novel mechanism by which metformin executes such effect via blocking the mitochondrial transfer from stromal cells to AML cells.
    Keywords:  Chemo-sensitizing effect; Chemotherapy resistance; Metformin; Mitochondrial transfer
  2. Semin Cancer Biol. 2022 Feb 02. pii: S1044-579X(22)00023-2. [Epub ahead of print]
      Oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) takes place in mitochondria and is the process whereby cells use carbon fuels and oxygen to generate ATP. Formerly OXPHOS was thought to be reduced in tumours and that glycolysis was the critical pathway for generation of ATP but it is now clear that OXPHOS, at least in many tumour types, plays a critical role in delivering the bioenergetic and macromolecular anabolic requirements of cancer cells. There is now great interest in targeting the OXPHOS and the electron transport chain for cancer therapy and in this review article we describe current therapeutic approaches and challenges.
    Keywords:  OXPHOS; cancer drugs; cancer metabolism; complex I; electron transport chain
  3. Nat Struct Mol Biol. 2022 Feb 10.
      Mammalian respiratory complex I (CI) is a 45-subunit, redox-driven proton pump that generates an electrochemical gradient across the mitochondrial inner membrane to power ATP synthesis in mitochondria. In the present study, we report cryo-electron microscopy structures of CI from Sus scrofa in six treatment conditions at a resolution of 2.4-3.5 Å, in which CI structures of each condition can be classified into two biochemical classes (active or deactive), with a notably higher proportion of active CI particles. These structures illuminate how hydrophobic ubiquinone-10 (Q10) with its long isoprenoid tail is bound and reduced in a narrow Q chamber comprising four different Q10-binding sites. Structural comparisons of active CI structures from our decylubiquinone-NADH and rotenone-NADH datasets reveal that Q10 reduction at site 1 is not coupled to proton pumping in the membrane arm, which might instead be coupled to Q10 oxidation at site 2. Our data overturn the widely accepted previous proposal about the coupling mechanism of CI.
  4. EMBO J. 2022 Feb 11. e109169
      Hydrogen peroxide (H2 O2 ) has key signaling roles at physiological levels, while causing molecular damage at elevated concentrations. H2 O2 production by mitochondria is implicated in regulating processes inside and outside these organelles. However, it remains unclear whether and how mitochondria in intact cells release H2 O2 . Here, we employed a genetically encoded high-affinity H2 O2 sensor, HyPer7, in mammalian tissue culture cells to investigate different modes of mitochondrial H2 O2 release. We found substantial heterogeneity of HyPer7 dynamics between individual cells. We further observed mitochondria-released H2 O2 directly at the surface of the organelle and in the bulk cytosol, but not in the nucleus or at the plasma membrane, pointing to steep gradients emanating from mitochondria. Gradient formation is controlled by cytosolic peroxiredoxins, which act redundantly and with a substantial reserve capacity. Dynamic adaptation of cytosolic thioredoxin reductase levels during metabolic changes results in improved H2 O2 handling and explains previously observed differences between cell types. Our data suggest that H2 O2 -mediated signaling is initiated only in close proximity to mitochondria and under specific metabolic conditions.
    Keywords:  HyPer7; hydrogen peroxide release; mitochondria; peroxiredoxin
  5. Cancer Res. 2022 Feb 07. pii: canres.1223.2021. [Epub ahead of print]
      Ovarian cancer (OC) is the deadliest gynecological cancer, and novel therapeutic options are crucial to improve overall survival. Here we provide evidence that impairment of oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) can help control OC progression, and this benefit correlates with expression of the two mitochondrial master regulators PGC-1α and PGC-1β. In orthotopic patient-derived ovarian cancer xenografts (OC-PDX), concomitant high expression of PGC-1α and PGC-1β (PGC-1α/β) fostered a unique transcriptional signature, leading to increased mitochondrial abundance, enhanced tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycling, and elevated cellular respiration that ultimately conferred vulnerability to OXPHOS inhibition. Treatment with the respiratory chain complex I inhibitor IACS-010759 caused mitochondrial swelling and ATP depletion that consequently delayed malignant progression and prolonged the lifespan of high-PGC-1α/β-expressing OC-PDX-bearing mice. Conversely, low-PGC-1α/β OC-PDX were not affected by IACS-010759, thus pinpointing a selective anti-tumor effect of OXPHOS inhibition. The clinical relevance of these findings was substantiated by analysis of ovarian cancer patient datasets, which showed that 25% of all cases displayed high PGC-1α/β expression along with an activated mitochondrial gene program. This study endorses the use of OXPHOS inhibitors to manage ovarian cancer and identifies the high expression of both PGC-1α and β as biomarkers to refine the selection of patients likely to benefit most from this therapy.
  6. Nat Commun. 2022 Feb 08. 13(1): 750
      Mitochondria host key metabolic processes vital for cellular energy provision and are central to cell fate decisions. They are subjected to unique genetic control by both nuclear DNA and their own multi-copy genome - mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA). Mutations in mtDNA often lead to clinically heterogeneous, maternally inherited diseases that display different organ-specific presentation at any stage of life. For a long time, genetic manipulation of mammalian mtDNA has posed a major challenge, impeding our ability to understand the basic mitochondrial biology and mechanisms underpinning mitochondrial disease. However, an important new tool for mtDNA mutagenesis has emerged recently, namely double-stranded DNA deaminase (DddA)-derived cytosine base editor (DdCBE). Here, we test this emerging tool for in vivo use, by delivering DdCBEs into mouse heart using adeno-associated virus (AAV) vectors and show that it can install desired mtDNA edits in adult and neonatal mice. This work provides proof-of-concept for use of DdCBEs to mutagenize mtDNA in vivo in post-mitotic tissues and provides crucial insights into potential translation to human somatic gene correction therapies to treat primary mitochondrial disease phenotypes.
  7. STAR Protoc. 2022 Mar 18. 3(1): 101135
      The assembly of mitochondrial respiratory complexes into supercomplexes has significant implications for mitochondrial function. This protocol details mitochondrial isolation from mouse tissues and the use of blue native gel electrophoresis (BN-PAGE) to separate pre-identified mitochondrial supercomplexes into different gel bands. We then describe the excision of the individual bands, followed by in-gel protein digestion and peptide desalting for mass spectrometry (MS)-based proteomics. This protocol provides a time-efficient measurement of the abundance and distribution of proteins within known supercomplexes. For complete details on the use and execution of this profile, please refer to Gonzalez-Franquesa et al. (2021).
    Keywords:  Mass Spectrometry; Metabolism; Protein Biochemistry; Proteomics
  8. Front Oncol. 2021 ;11 794735
      Glutamine, like glucose, is a major nutrient consumed by cancer cells, yet these cells undergo glutamine starvation in the cores of tumors, forcing them to evolve adaptive metabolic responses. Pharmacologically targeting glutamine metabolism or withdrawal has been exploited for therapeutic purposes, but does not always induce cancer cell death. The mechanism by which cancer cells adapt to resist glutamine starvation in cisplatin-resistant non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) also remains uncertain. Here, we report the potential metabolic vulnerabilities of A549/DDP (drug-resistant human lung adenocarcinoma cell lines) cells, which were more easily killed by the iron chelator deferoxamine (DFO) during glutamine deprivation than their parental cisplatin-sensitive A549 cells. We demonstrate that phenotype resistance to cisplatin is accompanied by adaptive responses during glutamine deprivation partly via higher levels of autophagic activity and apoptosis resistance characteristics. Moreover, this adaptation could be explained by sustained glucose instead of glutamine-dominant complex II-dependent oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS). Further investigation revealed that cisplatin-resistant cells sustain OXPHOS partly via iron metabolism reprogramming during glutamine deprivation. This reprogramming might be responsible for mitochondrial iron-sulfur [Fe-S] cluster biogenesis, which has become an "Achilles' heel," rendering cancer cells vulnerable to DFO-induced autophagic cell death and apoptosis through c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) signaling. Finally, in vivo studies using xenograft mouse models also confirmed the growth-slowing effect of DFO. In summary, we have elucidated the adaptive responses of cisplatin-resistant NSCLC cells, which balanced stability and plasticity to overcome metabolic reprogramming and permitted them to survive under stress induced by chemotherapy or glutamine starvation. In addition, for the first time, we show that suppressing the growth of cisplatin-resistant NSCLC cells via iron chelator-induced autophagic cell death and apoptosis was possible with DFO treatment. These findings provide a solid basis for targeting mitochondria iron metabolism in cisplatin-resistant NSCLC for therapeutic purposes, and it is plausible to consider that DFO facilitates in the improvement of treatment responses in cisplatin-resistant NSCLC patients.
    Keywords:  NSCLC; cell death; cisplatin resistance; deferoxamine; glutamine deprivation; metabolic reprogramming
  9. Asian J Androl. 2022 Feb 04.
      The limited treatment options for advanced prostate cancer (PCa) lead to the urgent need to discover new anticancer drugs. Mannose, an isomer of glucose, has been reported to have an anticancer effect on various tumors. However, the anticancer effect of mannose in PCa remains unclear. In this study, we demonstrated that mannose inhibits the proliferation and promotes the apoptosis of PCa cells in vitro, and mannose was observed to have an anticancer effect in mice without harming their health. Accumulation of intracellular mannose simultaneously decreased the mitochondrial membrane potential, increased mitochondrial and cellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) levels, and reduced adenosine triphosphate (ATP) production in PCa cells. Mannose treatment of PCa cells induced changes in mitochondrial morphology, caused dysregulated expression of the fission protein, such as fission, mitochondrial 1 (FIS1), and enhanced the expression of proapoptotic factors, such as BCL2-associated X (Bax) and BCL2-antagonist/killer 1 (Bak). Furthermore, lower expression of mannose phosphate isomerase (MPI), the key enzyme in mannose metabolism, indicated poorer prognosis in PCa patients, and downregulation of MPI expression in PCa cells enhanced the anticancer effect of mannose. This study reveals the anticancer effect of mannose in PCa and its clinical significance in PCa patients.
    Keywords:  mannose; mannose phosphate isomerase; metabolism; mitochondria; prostate cancer
  10. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2022 Feb 15. pii: e2121491119. [Epub ahead of print]119(7):
      Mitochondrial inner NEET (MiNT) and the outer mitochondrial membrane (OMM) mitoNEET (mNT) proteins belong to the NEET protein family. This family plays a key role in mitochondrial labile iron and reactive oxygen species (ROS) homeostasis. NEET proteins contain labile [2Fe-2S] clusters which can be transferred to apo-acceptor proteins. In eukaryotes, the biogenesis of [2Fe-2S] clusters occurs within the mitochondria by the iron-sulfur cluster (ISC) system; the clusters are then transferred to [2Fe-2S] proteins within the mitochondria or exported to cytosolic proteins and the cytosolic iron-sulfur cluster assembly (CIA) system. The last step of export of the [2Fe-2S] is not yet fully characterized. Here we show that MiNT interacts with voltage-dependent anion channel 1 (VDAC1), a major OMM protein that connects the intermembrane space with the cytosol and participates in regulating the levels of different ions including mitochondrial labile iron (mLI). We further show that VDAC1 is mediating the interaction between MiNT and mNT, in which MiNT transfers its [2Fe-2S] clusters from inside the mitochondria to mNT that is facing the cytosol. This MiNT-VDAC1-mNT interaction is shown both experimentally and by computational calculations. Additionally, we show that modifying MiNT expression in breast cancer cells affects the dynamics of mitochondrial structure and morphology, mitochondrial function, and breast cancer tumor growth. Our findings reveal a pathway for the transfer of [2Fe-2S] clusters, which are assembled inside the mitochondria, to the cytosol.
    Keywords:  CISD3; VDAC1; [2Fe-2S] cluster; mitoNEET; mitochondrial inner NEET protein (MiNT)
  11. Bioelectrochemistry. 2022 Feb 02. pii: S1567-5394(22)00032-9. [Epub ahead of print]145 108081
      A great variety of coumarin-related compounds, both natural and synthetic, being often brightly fluorescent, have shown themselves beneficial in medicine for both therapeutic and imaging purposes. Here, in search for effective uncouplers of oxidative phosphorylation, we synthesized a series of 7-hydroxycoumarin (umbelliferone, UB) derivatives combining rather high membrane affinity with the presence of a hydroxyl group deprotonable at physiological pH - alkyl esters of umbelliferone-4-acetic acid (UB-4 esters) differing in alkyl chain length. Addition of UB-4 esters to isolated rat liver mitochondria (RLM) resulted in their rapid depolarization, unexpectedly followed by membrane potential recovery on a minute time scale. According to TLC and HPLC data, incubation of RLM with UB-4 esters caused their hydrolysis, which led to disappearance of the uncoupling activity (recoupling). Both mitochondrial recoupling and hydrolysis of UB-4 esters were suppressed by inhibitors of mitochondrial aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH2), disulfiram and daidzin, thus pointing to the involvement of this enzyme in the recoupling of RLM incubated with UB-4 esters. The protonophoric mechanism of mitochondrial uncoupling by UB-4 esters was proved in experiments with artificial bilayer lipid membranes (BLM): these compounds induced proton-selective electrical current across planar BLM and caused dissipation of pH gradient on liposomes. UB-4 esters showed antibacterial activity against Bacillus subtilis, Staphylococcus aureus and Mycobacterium smegmatis.
    Keywords:  7-hydroxycoumarin; Aldehyde dehydrogenase; Bilayer lipid membrane; Liposome; Mitochondrial uncoupler; Protonophore
  12. J Clin Invest. 2022 Feb 10. pii: e155224. [Epub ahead of print]
      The functional integrity of CD8+ T cells is tightly coupled to metabolic reprogramming, but how oxidative stress directs CD8+ T cell metabolic fitness in the tumor microenvironment (TME) remains elusive. Here, we report that SUMO-specific protease 7 (SENP7) senses oxidative stress to maintain the CD8+ T cell metabolic state and antitumor functions. SENP7-deficient CD8+ T cells exhibited decreased glycolysis and oxidative phosphorylation, resulting in attenuated proliferation in vitro and dampened antitumor functions in vivo. Mechanistically, CD8+ T cell-derived reactive oxygen species (ROS) triggered cytosolic SENP7-mediated PTEN deSUMOylation, thereby promoting PTEN degradation and preventing PTEN-dependent metabolic defects. Importantly, lowering T cell-intrinsic ROS restricted SENP7 cytosolic translocation and repressed CD8+ T cell metabolic and functional activity in human colorectal cancer samples. Our findings reveal that SENP7, as an oxidative stress sensor, sustains CD8+ T cell metabolic fitness and effector functions and unveil an oxidative stress-sensing machinery in tumor-infiltrating CD8+ T cells.
    Keywords:  Adaptive immunity; Cancer immunotherapy; Immunology; Metabolism; T cells
  13. Stem Cell Reports. 2022 Feb 01. pii: S2213-6711(22)00055-8. [Epub ahead of print]
      Mitochondria are fundamental but complex determinants for hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) maintenance. However, the factors involved in the regulation of mitochondrial metabolism in HSCs and the underlying mechanisms have not been fully elucidated. Here, we identify sterol regulatory element binding factor-1c (Srebf1c) as a key factor in maintaining HSC biology under both steady-state and stress conditions. Srebf1c knockout (Srebf1c-/-) mice display increased phenotypic HSCs and less HSC quiescence. In addition, Srebf1c deletion compromises the function and survival of HSCs in competitive transplantation or following chemotherapy and irradiation. Mechanistically, SREBF1c restrains the excessive activation of mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) signaling and mitochondrial metabolism in HSCs by regulating the expression of tuberous sclerosis complex 1 (Tsc1). Our study demonstrates that Srebf1c plays an important role in regulating HSC fate via the TSC1-mTOR-mitochondria axis.
    Keywords:  Srebf1c; TSC1; hematopoietic stem cell; mTOR; mitochondrial metabolism
  14. Nat Methods. 2022 Feb;19(2): 223-230
      Isotope tracing has helped to determine the metabolic activities of organs. Methods to probe metabolic heterogeneity within organs are less developed. We couple stable-isotope-labeled nutrient infusion to matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization imaging mass spectrometry (iso-imaging) to quantitate metabolic activity in mammalian tissues in a spatially resolved manner. In the kidney, we visualize gluconeogenic flux and glycolytic flux in the cortex and medulla, respectively. Tricarboxylic acid cycle substrate usage differs across kidney regions; glutamine and citrate are used preferentially in the cortex and fatty acids are used in the medulla. In the brain, we observe spatial gradations in carbon inputs to the tricarboxylic acid cycle and glutamate under a ketogenic diet. In a carbohydrate-rich diet, glucose predominates throughout but in a ketogenic diet, 3-hydroxybutyrate contributes most strongly in the hippocampus and least in the midbrain. Brain nitrogen sources also vary spatially; branched-chain amino acids contribute most in the midbrain, whereas ammonia contributes in the thalamus. Thus, iso-imaging can reveal the spatial organization of metabolic activity.
  15. Biochim Biophys Acta Mol Cell Res. 2022 Feb 04. pii: S0167-4889(22)00024-6. [Epub ahead of print] 119233
      Mitochondrion is a double membrane organelle that is responsible for cellular respiration and production of most of the ATP in eukaryotic cells. Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) is the genetic material carried by mitochondria, which encodes some essential subunits of respiratory complexes independent of nuclear DNA. Normally, mtDNA binds to certain proteins to form a nucleoid that is stable in mitochondria. Nevertheless, a variety of physiological or pathological stresses can cause mtDNA damage, and the accumulation of damaged mtDNA in mitochondria leads to mitochondrial dysfunction, which triggers the occurrence of mitochondrial diseases in vivo. In response to mtDNA damage, cell initiates multiple pathways including mtDNA repair, degradation, clearance and release, to recover mtDNA, and maintain mitochondrial quality and cell homeostasis. In this review, we provide our current understanding of the fate of damaged mtDNA, focus on the pathways and mechanisms of removing damaged mtDNA in the cell.
    Keywords:  Mitochondria DNA (mtDNA); Mitocytosis; Mitophagy; mtDNA release
  16. Sci Rep. 2022 Feb 11. 12(1): 2354
      Macromolecular damage leading to cell, tissue and ultimately organ dysfunction is a major contributor to aging. Intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) resulting from normal metabolism cause most damage to macromolecules and the mitochondria play a central role in this process as they are the principle source of ROS. The relationship between naturally occurring variations in the mitochondrial (MT) genomes leading to correspondingly less or more ROS and macromolecular damage that changes the rate of aging associated organismal decline remains relatively unexplored. MT complex I, a component of the electron transport chain (ETC), is a key source of ROS and the NADH dehydrogenase subunit 5 (ND5) is a highly conserved core protein of the subunits that constitute the backbone of complex I. Using Daphnia as a model organism, we explored if the naturally occurring sequence variations in ND5 correlate with a short or long lifespan. Our results indicate that the short-lived clones have ND5 variants that correlate with reduced complex I activity, increased oxidative damage, and heightened expression of ROS scavenger enzymes. Daphnia offers a unique opportunity to investigate the association between inherited variations in components of complex I and ROS generation which affects the rate of aging and lifespan.
  17. PLoS Comput Biol. 2022 Feb 11. 18(2): e1009841
      While aerobic glycolysis, or the Warburg effect, has for a long time been considered a hallmark of tumor metabolism, recent studies have revealed a far more complex picture. Tumor cells exhibit widespread metabolic heterogeneity, not only in their presentation of the Warburg effect but also in the nutrients and the metabolic pathways they are dependent on. Moreover, tumor cells can switch between different metabolic phenotypes in response to environmental cues and therapeutic interventions. A framework to analyze the observed metabolic heterogeneity and plasticity is, however, lacking. Using a mechanistic model that includes the key metabolic pathways active in tumor cells, we show that the inhibition of phosphofructokinase by excess ATP in the cytoplasm can drive a preference for aerobic glycolysis in fast-proliferating tumor cells. The differing rates of ATP utilization by tumor cells can therefore drive heterogeneity with respect to the presentation of the Warburg effect. Building upon this idea, we couple the metabolic phenotype of tumor cells to their migratory phenotype, and show that our model predictions are in agreement with previous experiments. Next, we report that the reliance of proliferating cells on different anaplerotic pathways depends on the relative availability of glucose and glutamine, and can further drive metabolic heterogeneity. Finally, using treatment of melanoma cells with a BRAF inhibitor as an example, we show that our model can be used to predict the metabolic and gene expression changes in cancer cells in response to drug treatment. By making predictions that are far more generalizable and interpretable as compared to previous tumor metabolism modeling approaches, our framework identifies key principles that govern tumor cell metabolism, and the reported heterogeneity and plasticity. These principles could be key to targeting the metabolic vulnerabilities of cancer.
  18. J Biol Chem. 2022 Feb 08. pii: S0021-9258(22)00143-0. [Epub ahead of print] 101703
      Ferroptosis is an iron-dependent mode of cell death caused by excessive oxidative damage to lipids. Lipid peroxidation is normally suppressed by glutathione peroxidase 4, which requires reduced glutathione. Cystine is a major resource for glutathione synthesis, especially in cancer cells. Therefore, cystine deprivation or inhibition of cystine uptake promotes ferroptosis in cancer cells. However, the roles of other molecules involved in cysteine deprivation-induced ferroptosis are unexplored. We report here that the expression of gamma-glutamyltransferase 1 (GGT1), an enzyme that cleaves extracellular glutathione, determines the sensitivity of glioblastoma cells to cystine deprivation-induced ferroptosis at high cell density. In glioblastoma cells expressing GGT1, pharmacological inhibition or deletion of GGT1 suppressed the cell density-induced increase in intracellular glutathione levels and cell viability under cystine deprivation, which were restored by the addition of cysteinylglycine, the GGT product of glutathione cleavage. On the other hand, cystine deprivation induced glutathione depletion and ferroptosis in GGT1-deficient glioblastoma cells even at a high cell density. Exogenous expression of GGT1 in GGT1-deficient glioblastoma cells inhibited cystine deprivation-induced glutathione depletion and ferroptosis at a high cell density. This suggests that GGT1 plays an important role in glioblastoma cell survival under cystine-limited, high-cell density conditions. We conclude that combining GGT inhibitors with ferroptosis inducers may provide an effective therapeutic approach for treating glioblastoma.
    Keywords:  amino acid; cell death; cell metabolism; cell surface enzyme; glioblastoma; glutathione
  19. Cancer Res. 2022 Feb 11. pii: canres.1168.2021. [Epub ahead of print]
      MYC family oncoproteins are regulators of metabolic reprogramming that sustains cancer cell anabolism. Normal cells adapt to nutrient-limiting conditions by activating autophagy, which is required for amino acid (AA) homeostasis. Here we report that the autophagy pathway is suppressed by Myc in normal B cells, in premalignant and neoplastic B cells of Eμ-Myc transgenic mice, and in human MYC-driven Burkitt lymphoma. Myc suppresses autophagy by antagonizing the expression and function of transcription factor EB (TFEB), a master regulator of autophagy. Mechanisms that sustained AA pools in MYC-expressing B cells include coordinated induction of the proteasome and increases in AA transport. Reactivation of the autophagy-lysosomal pathway by TFEB disabled the malignant state by disrupting mitochondrial functions, proteasome activity, amino acid transport, and amino acid and nucleotide metabolism, leading to metabolic anergy, growth arrest and apoptosis. This phenotype provides therapeutic opportunities to disable MYC-driven malignancies, including AA restriction and treatment with proteasome inhibitors.
  20. Cancer Res. 2022 Feb 11. pii: canres.2062.2021. [Epub ahead of print]
      Despite being the leading cause of cancer deaths, metastasis remains a poorly understood process. To identify novel regulators of metastasis in melanoma, we performed a large-scale RNA-sequencing screen of 48 samples from patient-derived xenograft (PDX) subcutaneous melanomas and their associated metastases. In comparison to primary tumors, expression of glycolytic genes was frequently decreased in metastases while expression of some TCA cycle genes was increased in metastases. Consistent with these transcriptional changes, melanoma metastases underwent a metabolic switch characterized by decreased levels of glycolytic metabolites and increased abundance of TCA cycle metabolites. A short isoform of glyceraldehye-3-phosphate dehydrogenase, spermatogenic (GAPDHS) lacking the N-terminal domain suppressed metastasis and regulated this metabolic switch. GAPDHS was downregulated in metastatic nodules from PDX models as well as in human patients. Overexpression of GAPDHS was sufficient to block melanoma metastasis, while its inhibition promoted metastasis, decreased glycolysis, and increased levels of certain TCA cycle metabolites and their derivatives including citrate, fumarate, malate, and aspartate. Isotope tracing studies indicated that GADPHS mediates this shift through changes in pyruvate carboxylase activity and aspartate synthesis, both metabolic pathways critical for cancer survival and metastasis. Together these data identify a short isoform of GAPDHS that limits melanoma metastasis and regulates central carbon metabolism.
  21. Biochemistry. 2022 Feb 08.
      Thioredoxin (Trx) is one of the major thiol-dependent antioxidants in living systems. The study of Trx functions in redox biology was impeded by the lack of practical tools to track Trx redox dynamics in live cells. Our previous work developed TrxRFP1, the first genetically encoded fluorescent indicator for Trx redox. In this work, we report an improved fluorescent indicator, TrxRFP2, for tracking the redox of Trx1, which is primarily cytosolic and nuclear. Furthermore, because mitochondria specifically express Trx2, we have created a new genetically encoded fluorescent indicator, MtrxRFP2, for the redox of mitochondrial Trx. We characterized MtrxRFP2 as a purified protein and used subcellularly localized MtrxRFP2 to image mitochondrial redox changes in live cells.
  22. Nat Metab. 2022 Feb 10.
      Tumors can reprogram the functions of metabolic enzymes to fuel malignant growth; however, beyond their conventional functions, key metabolic enzymes have not been found to directly govern cell mitosis. Here, we report that glutamine synthetase (GS) promotes cell proliferation by licensing mitotic progression independently of its metabolic function. GS depletion, but not impairment of its enzymatic activity, results in mitotic arrest and multinucleation across multiple lung and liver cancer cell lines, patient-derived organoids and xenografted tumors. Mechanistically, GS directly interacts with the nuclear pore protein NUP88 to prevent its binding to CDC20. Such interaction licenses activation of the CDC20-mediated anaphase-promoting complex or cyclosome to ensure proper metaphase-to-anaphase transition. In addition, GS is overexpressed in human non-small cell lung cancer and its depletion reduces tumor growth in mice and increases the efficacy of microtubule-targeted chemotherapy. Our findings highlight a moonlighting function of GS in governing mitosis and illustrate how an essential metabolic enzyme promotes cell proliferation and tumor development, beyond its main metabolic function.
  23. Nat Commun. 2022 Feb 10. 13(1): 801
      When conditions change, unicellular organisms rewire their metabolism to sustain cell maintenance and cellular growth. Such rewiring may be understood as resource re-allocation under cellular constraints. Eukaryal cells contain metabolically active organelles such as mitochondria, competing for cytosolic space and resources, and the nature of the relevant cellular constraints remain to be determined for such cells. Here, we present a comprehensive metabolic model of the yeast cell, based on its full metabolic reaction network extended with protein synthesis and degradation reactions. The model predicts metabolic fluxes and corresponding protein expression by constraining compartment-specific protein pools and maximising growth rate. Comparing model predictions with quantitative experimental data suggests that under glucose limitation, a mitochondrial constraint limits growth at the onset of ethanol formation-known as the Crabtree effect. Under sugar excess, however, a constraint on total cytosolic volume dictates overflow metabolism. Our comprehensive model thus identifies condition-dependent and compartment-specific constraints that can explain metabolic strategies and protein expression profiles from growth rate optimisation, providing a framework to understand metabolic adaptation in eukaryal cells.
  24. Am J Cancer Res. 2022 ;12(1): 327-336
      Six Transmembrane Protein of Prostate 2 (STAMP2) is critical for prostate cancer (PCa) growth. We previously showed that STAMP2 regulates the expression of stress induced transcription factor ATF4, which is implicated in starvation-induced autophagy. We therefore investigated whether STAMP2 is involved in the regulation of autophagy in PCa cells. Here we show that STAMP2 suppresses autophagy in PCa cells through modulation of the integrated stress response axis. We also find that STAMP2 regulates mitochondrial respiration. These findings suggest that STAMP2 has significant metabolic effects through mitochondrial function and autophagy, both of which support PCa growth.
    Keywords:  ATF4; Prostate cancer; STAMP2; autophagy; eIF2α; integrated stress response; mitochondria
  25. Biochem Pharmacol. 2022 Feb 04. pii: S0006-2952(22)00037-5. [Epub ahead of print] 114943
      Advances in cell metabolism over the past few decades have demonstrated glutamine as an essential nutrient for cancer cell survival and proliferation. Glutamine offers a remarkable capacity to fuel diverse metabolic pathways in cancer cells including the Krebs cycle, maintenance of redox homeostasis, and synthesis of cellular building blocks such as nucleic acids, fatty acids, glutathione, and other amino acids. The increase in glutaminolysis has further been linked to the accumulation of oncometabolites such as 2HG (2-Hydroxyglutarate), succinate, fumarate, etc., thereby contributing to tumorigenesis via regulating epigenetic modification of imprinted genes. Therefore, therapeutic targeting of glutaminolysis in cancer cells is worth exploring for possible treatment strategies for cancer management. In this review, we have discussed the detailed mechanism of glutamine uptake, transport, and its instrumental role in rewiring the metabolic adaptation of cancer cells in the tumor microenvironment under nutrient deprivation and hypoxia. Furthermore, we have attempted to provide an updated therapeutic intervention of glutamine metabolism as a treatment strategy for cancer management.
    Keywords:  Cancer Cell Metabolism; Glutamine; Glutaminolysis; Tumor Microenvironment, Chemotherapy
  26. BMC Biol. 2022 Feb 09. 20(1): 40
      BACKGROUND: Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) is present at high copy numbers in animal cells, and though characterized by a single haplotype in each individual due to maternal germline inheritance, deleterious mutations and intact mtDNA molecules frequently co-exist (heteroplasmy). A number of factors, such as replicative segregation, mitochondrial bottlenecks, and selection, may modulate the exitance of heteroplasmic mutations. Since such mutations may have pathological consequences, they likely survive and are inherited due to functional complementation via the intracellular mitochondrial network. Here, we hypothesized that compromised mitochondrial fusion would hamper such complementation, thereby affecting heteroplasmy inheritance.RESULTS: We assessed heteroplasmy levels in three Caenorhabditis elegans strains carrying different heteroplasmic mtDNA deletions (ΔmtDNA) in the background of mutant mitofusin (fzo-1). Animals displayed severe embryonic lethality and developmental delay. Strikingly, observed phenotypes were relieved during subsequent generations in association with complete loss of ΔmtDNA molecules. Moreover, deletion loss rates were negatively correlated with the size of mtDNA deletions, suggesting that mitochondrial fusion is essential and sensitive to the nature of the heteroplasmic mtDNA mutations. Introducing the ΔmtDNA into a fzo-1;pdr-1;+/ΔmtDNA (PARKIN ortholog) double mutant resulted in a skewed Mendelian progeny distribution, in contrast to the normal distribution in the fzo-1;+/ΔmtDNA mutant, and severely reduced brood size. Notably, the ΔmtDNA was lost across generations in association with improved phenotypes.
    CONCLUSIONS: Taken together, our findings show that when mitochondrial fusion is compromised, deleterious heteroplasmic mutations cannot evade natural selection while inherited through generations. Moreover, our findings underline the importance of cross-talk between mitochondrial fusion and mitophagy in modulating the inheritance of mtDNA heteroplasmy.
    Keywords:  C. elegans; Heteroplasmy inheritance; Mitofusin; PARKIN; fzo-1; mtDNA; pdr-1
  27. Nat Cell Biol. 2022 Feb 10.
      Many cancers have an unusual dependence on glutamine. However, most previous studies have focused on the contribution of glutamine to metabolic building blocks and the energy supply. Here, we report that cancer cells with aberrant expression of glutamate decarboxylase 1 (GAD1) rewire glutamine metabolism for the synthesis of γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA)-a prominent neurotransmitter-in non-nervous tissues. An analysis of clinical samples reveals that increased GABA levels predict poor prognosis. Mechanistically, we identify a cancer-intrinsic pathway through which GABA activates the GABAB receptor to inhibit GSK-3β activity, leading to enhanced β-catenin signalling. This GABA-mediated β-catenin activation both stimulates tumour cell proliferation and suppresses CD8+ T cell intratumoural infiltration, such that targeting GAD1 or GABABR in mouse models overcomes resistance to anti-PD-1 immune checkpoint blockade therapy. Our findings uncover a signalling role for tumour-derived GABA beyond its classic function as a neurotransmitter that can be targeted pharmacologically to reverse immunosuppression.
  28. Cancer Res. 2022 Feb 08. pii: canres.0914.2021. [Epub ahead of print]
      Lactate is an abundant oncometabolite in the tumor environment. In prostate cancer (PCa), cancer-associated fibroblasts are major contributors of secreted lactate, which can be taken up by cancer cells to sustain mitochondrial metabolism. However, how lactate impacts transcriptional regulation in tumors has yet to be fully elucidated. Here, we describe a mechanism by which CAF-secreted lactate is able to increase the expression of genes involved in lipid metabolism in PCa cells.This regulation enhanced intracellular lipid accumulation in lipid droplets (LD) and provided acetyl moieties for histone acetylation, establishing a regulatory loop between metabolites and epigenetic modification. Inhibition of this loop by targeting the bromodomain and extraterminal (BET) protein family of histone acetylation readers suppressed the expression of perilipin-2 (PLIN2), a crucial component of LDs, disrupting lactate-dependent lipid metabolic rewiring. Inhibition of this CAF-induced metabolic-epigenetic regulatory loop in vivo reduced growth and metastasis of prostate cancer cells, demonstrating its translational relevance as a therapeutic target in PCa. Clinically, PLIN2 expression was elevated in tumors with a higher Gleason grade and in castration resistant prostate cancer compared to primary PCa. Overall, these findings show that lactate has both a metabolic and an epigenetic role in promoting PCa progression.
  29. PLoS One. 2022 ;17(2): e0262364
      Research into the metabolism of the non-essential amino acid (NEAA) proline in cancer has gained traction in recent years. The last step in the proline biosynthesis pathway is catalyzed by pyrroline-5-carboxylate reductase (PYCR) enzymes. There are three PYCR enzymes: mitochondrial PYCR1 and 2 and cytosolic PYCR3 encoded by separate genes. The expression of the PYCR1 gene is increased in numerous malignancies and correlates with poor prognosis. PYCR1 expression sustains cancer cells' proliferation and survival and several mechanisms have been implicated to explain its oncogenic role. It has been suggested that the biosynthesis of proline is key to sustain protein synthesis, support mitochondrial function and nucleotide biosynthesis. However, the links between proline metabolism and cancer remain ill-defined and are likely to be tissue specific. Here we use a combination of human dataset, human tissue and mouse models to show that the expression levels of the proline biosynthesis enzymes are significantly increased during colorectal tumorigenesis. Functionally, the expression of mitochondrial PYCRs is necessary for cancer cells' survival and proliferation. However, the phenotypic consequences of PYCRs depletion could not be rescued by external supplementation with either proline or nucleotides. Overall, our data suggest that, despite the mechanisms underlying the role of proline metabolism in colorectal tumorigenesis remain elusive, targeting the proline biosynthesis pathway is a suitable approach for the development of novel anti-cancer therapies.
  30. Trends Cell Biol. 2022 Feb 07. pii: S0962-8924(22)00005-8. [Epub ahead of print]
      Aging is a universal biological process that increases the risk of multiple diseases including cancer. Growing evidence shows that alterations in the genome and epigenome, driven by similar mechanisms, are found in both aged cells and cancer cells. In this review, we detail the genetic and epigenetic changes associated with normal aging and the mechanisms responsible for these changes. By highlighting genetic and epigenetic alterations in the context of tumorigenesis, cancer progression, and the aging tumor microenvironment, we examine the possible impacts of the normal aging process on malignant transformation. Finally, we examine the implications of age-related genetic and epigenetic alterations in both tumors and patients for the treatment of cancer.
    Keywords:  aging; cancer; epigenetics; genetics; tumor microenvironment
  31. Cancer Biol Ther. 2022 Dec 31. 23(1): 117-126
      Mitochondria are key tumor drivers, but their suitability as a therapeutic target is unknown. Here, we report on the preclinical characterization of Gamitrinib (GA mitochondrial matrix inhibitor), a first-in-class anticancer agent that couples the Heat Shock Protein-90 (Hsp90) inhibitor 17-allylamino-geldanamycin (17-AAG) to the mitochondrial-targeting moiety, triphenylphosphonium. Formulated as a stable (≥24 weeks at -20°C) injectable suspension produced by microfluidization (<200 nm particle size), Gamitrinib (>99.5% purity) is heavily bound to plasma proteins (>99%), has intrinsic clearance from liver microsomes of 3.30 mL/min/g and minimally penetrates a Caco-2 intestinal monolayer. Compared to 17-AAG, Gamitrinib has slower clearance (85.6 ± 5.8 mL/min/kg), longer t1/2 (12.2 ± 1.55 h), mean AUC0-t of 783.1 ± 71.3 h∙ng/mL, and unique metabolism without generation of 17-AG. Concentrations of Gamitrinib that trigger tumor cell killing (IC50 ~1-4 µM) do not affect cytochrome P450 isoforms CYP1A2, CYP2A6, CYP2B6, CYP2C8 or ion channel conductance (Nav1.5, Kv4.3/KChIP2, Cav1.2, Kv1.5, KCNQ1/mink, HCN4, Kir2). Twice weekly IV administration of Gamitrinib to Sprague-Dawley rats or beagle dogs for up to 36 d is feasible. At dose levels of up to 5 (rats)- and 12 (dogs)-fold higher than therapeutically effective doses in mice (10 mg/kg), Gamitrinib treatment is unremarkable in dogs with no alterations in clinical-chemistry parameters, heart function, or tissue histology, and causes occasional inflammation at the infusion site and mild elevation of serum urea nitrogen in rats (≥10 mg/kg/dose). Therefore, targeting mitochondria for cancer therapy is feasible and well tolerated. A publicly funded, first-in-human phase I clinical trial of Gamitrinib in patients with advanced cancer is ongoing ( NCT04827810).
    Keywords:  Gamitrinib; Hsp90; Mitochondria; cancer therapy
  32. Phytomedicine. 2022 Jan 29. pii: S0944-7113(22)00036-8. [Epub ahead of print]98 153958
      BACKGROUND: Cervical cancer is the most common malignancy of the female lower genital tract. Tanshinone I (Tan I) is one of the crucial lipid-soluble components of red sage (Salvia miltiorrhiza). While its mode of action against cervical cancer is unclear.PURPOSE: Our study aimed to explore the role of Tan I on cervical cancer in vitro.
    STUDY DESIGN AND METHODS: Effects of Tan I on cervical cancer cells viability, migration and mitochondrial function were investigated by Cell Counting Kit-8, Transwell and Fluorescence laser confocal microscope assays respectively. The potential mechanism of Tan I was uncovered by an integrative approach combining RNA profiling and hydrogen nuclear magnetic resonance-based metabolic analysis, molecular docking and Western blot.
    RESULTS: Tan I significantly inhibited the growth and colony formation of HeLa and SiHa cells. It induced apoptosis and cell cycle S phase arrest at low (12.5-25 μM) but not high (50 μM) concentrations. It also altered the HeLa cell ultrastructure, decreased the membrane potential and increased the total mitochondrial content. Further, Tan I induced autophagic flux and the colocalization of mitochondria with lysosomes, led to decreased adhesion, invasion, and migration of cervical cancer cells. Transcriptomic analysis revealed that Tan I altered the RNA profile and signal processing in HeLa cells. Tan I significantly impacted "central carbon metabolism in cancer" and "mitophagy-animal" processes. A global metabolic analysis identified 25 metabolites affected by Tan I treatment in HeLa cells. Changes in the metabolic profile indicated that Tan I affected such processes as protein digestion and absorption, central carbon metabolism in cancer, and aminoacyl-tRNA biosynthesis in cervical cancer cells. Furthermore, Tan I significantly induced the expression of mitophagy-related proteins BNIP3, NIX and Optineurin and the conversion from LC3-I to LC3-II, inhibited the NDP52 and P62 level in a concentration-dependent manner. While CQ further increased the conversion of LC3-I to LC3-II and the expression of P62. Moreover, Tan I interacted with BNIP3 and NIX through hydrogen bond. Tan I induce mitophagy could be prevented by BNIP3 and NIX siRNA transfection.
    CONCLUSION: Tan I induced the BNIP3/NIX-mediated mitophagy, and reprogrammed the mitochondrial metabolism in cervical cancer cells, thus inhibiting metastasis.
    Keywords:  Cervical cancer; Mitochondrial metabolism; Mitophagy; Tanshinone I
  33. Cell Metab. 2022 Feb 01. pii: S1550-4131(22)00022-5. [Epub ahead of print]
      Metabolism of cancer cells is geared toward biomass production and proliferation. Since the metabolic resources within the local tissue are finite, this can lead to nutrient depletion and accumulation of metabolic waste. To maintain growth in these conditions, cancer cells employ a variety of metabolic adaptations, the nature of which is collectively determined by the physiology of their cell of origin, the identity of transforming lesions, and the tissue in which cancer cells reside. Furthermore, select metabolites not only serve as substrates for energy and biomass generation, but can also regulate gene and protein expression and influence the behavior of non-transformed cells in the tumor vicinity. As they grow and metastasize, tumors can also affect and be affected by the nutrient distribution within the body. In this hallmark update, recent advances are incorporated into a conceptual framework that may help guide further research efforts in exploring cancer cell metabolism.
  34. J Appl Physiol (1985). 2022 Feb 10.
      Exercise is critical for improving metabolic health and putatively maintains or enhances mitochondrial quality control in metabolic tissues. While previous work has shown exercise elicits hepatic mitochondrial biogenesis, it is unknown if acute exercise activates hepatic mitophagy, the selective degradation of damaged or low-functioning mitochondria. We tested if an acute bout of treadmill running increased hepatic mitophagic flux both immediately after and 2 hours post-exercise in 15-24-week-old C57BL/6J female mice. Acute exercise did not significantly increase markers of autophagic flux, however, mitophagic flux was activated 2 hours post-treadmill running as measured by accumulation of both LC3-II and p62 in isolated mitochondria in the presence of leupeptin, an inhibitor of autophagosome degradation. Further, mitochondrial associated ubiquitin, which recruits the autophagy receptor protein p62, was also significantly increased at 2 hours. Further examination via western blot and proteomics analysis revealed acute exercise elicits a time-dependent, dynamic activation of mitophagy pathways. Moreover, the results suggest that exercise induced hepatic mitophagy is likely mediated by both poly-ubiquitination and receptor mediated signaling pathways. Overall, we provide evidence that acute exercise activates hepatic mitophagic flux while also revealing specific receptor-mediated proteins by which exercise maintains mitochondrial quality control in the liver.
    Keywords:  Exercise; Liver; Mitochondria; Mitophagic Flux; Mitophagy
  35. Am J Physiol Cell Physiol. 2022 Feb 09.
      Redox homeostasis is elemental for the normal physiology of all cell types. Cells use multiple mechanisms to regulate the redox balance tightly. The onset and progression of many metabolic and aging-associated diseases occur due to the dysregulation of redox homeostasis. Thus, it is critical to identify and therapeutically target mechanisms that precipitate abnormalities in redox balance. Reactive oxygen species (ROS) produced within the immune cells regulate homeostasis, hyperimmune and hypoimmune cell responsiveness, apoptosis, immune response to pathogens, and tumor immunity. Immune cells have both cytosolic and organelle-specific redox regulatory systems to maintain appropriate levels of ROS. Nicotinamide nucleotide transhydrogenase (NNT) is an essential mitochondrial redox regulatory protein. Dysregulation of NNT function prevents immune cells from mounting an adequate immune response to pathogens, promotes a chronic inflammatory state associated with aging and metabolic diseases, and initiates conditions related to a dysregulated immune system such as autoimmunity. While many studies have reported on NNT in different cell types, including cancer cells, relatively few studies have explored NNT in immune cells. This review provides an overview of NNT and focuses on the current knowledge of NNT in the immune cells.
    Keywords:  Inflammation; NADPH; NNT; ROS; immune cells
  36. PLoS One. 2022 ;17(2): e0257725
      Infiltrative gliomas are the most common neoplasms arising in the brain, and remain largely incurable despite decades of research. A subset of these gliomas contains mutations in isocitrate dehydrogenase 1 (IDH1mut) or, less commonly, IDH2 (together called "IDHmut"). These mutations alter cellular biochemistry, and IDHmut gliomas are generally less aggressive than IDH wild-type (IDHwt) gliomas. Some preclinical studies and clinical trials have suggested that various forms of a ketogenic diet (KD), characterized by low-carbohydrate and high-fat content, may be beneficial in slowing glioma progression. However, adherence to a strict KD is difficult, and not all studies have shown promising results. Furthermore, no study has yet addressed whether IDHmut gliomas might be more sensitive to KD. The aim of the current study was to compare the effects of a unrestricted, cycling KD (weekly alternating between KD and standard diet) in preclinical models of IDHwt versus IDHmut gliomas. In vitro, simulating KD by treatment with the ketone body β-hydroxybutyrate had no effect on the proliferation of patient-derived IDHwt or IDHmut glioma cells, either in low or normal glucose conditions. Likewise, an unrestricted, cycling KD had no effect on the in vivo growth of patient-derived IDHwt or IDHmut gliomas, even though the cycling KD did result in persistently elevated circulating ketones. Furthermore, this KD conferred no survival benefit in mice engrafted with Sleeping-Beauty transposase-engineered IDHmut or IDHwt glioma. These data suggest that neither IDHwt nor IDHmut gliomas are particularly responsive to an unrestricted, cycling form of KD.
  37. Cell Rep. 2022 Feb 08. pii: S2211-1247(22)00059-6. [Epub ahead of print]38(6): 110343
      Phenotype-based screening can identify small molecules that elicit a desired cellular response, but additional approaches are required to characterize their targets and mechanisms of action. Here, we show that a compound termed LCS3, which selectively impairs the growth of human lung adenocarcinoma (LUAD) cells, induces oxidative stress. To identify the target that mediates this effect, we use thermal proteome profiling (TPP) and uncover the disulfide reductases GSR and TXNRD1 as targets. We confirm through enzymatic assays that LCS3 inhibits disulfide reductase activity through a reversible, uncompetitive mechanism. Further, we demonstrate that LCS3-sensitive LUAD cells are sensitive to the synergistic inhibition of glutathione and thioredoxin pathways. Lastly, a genome-wide CRISPR knockout screen identifies NQO1 loss as a mechanism of LCS3 resistance. This work highlights the ability of TPP to uncover targets of small molecules identified by high-throughput screens and demonstrates the potential therapeutic utility of inhibiting disulfide reductases in LUAD.
    Keywords:  glutathione; lung cancer; reactive oxygen species; redox homeostasis; small molecule screen; thermal proteome profiling; thioredoxin
  38. Nucleosides Nucleotides Nucleic Acids. 2022 Feb 07. 1-11
      Pancreatic cancer (PC) is one of the most lethal malignancies. PC is characterized by a high expression of the glucose transporter GLUT-1 and of lactate dehydrogenase A (LDH-A). The novel LDH-A inhibitor NHI-Glc-2 was designed for a better uptake via GLUT-1 and was shown to be cytotoxic against the PC cell line PANC-1. Using RP-HPLC we investigated its effect on adenine nucleotides and NADH/NAD+, while the Seahorse analyzer was used to determine its effect on glycolysis and mitochondrial function. A 24 hour exposure to 10 µM NHI-Glc-2 (around the IC50) decreased the ATP concentration by about 10%, but at 25 µM this decrease was 38%, while NAD+ decreased by 26%, associated with a 35% decrease in the NADH/NAD+ ratio. A 10 µM NHI-Glc-2 decreased extracellular acidification and oxygen consumption (about 75%), as well as the mitochondrial respiration parameters by 50%. In conclusion, LDH-A inhibition markedly affected the energy supply of PANC-1 cells. The respiration data indicated a dependency of the cells on glycolysis and fatty acid oxidation.Supplemental data for this article is available online at .
    Keywords:  Pancreatic cancer; glucose transporter 1; lactate dehydrogenase A; mitochondrial function; nucleotides
  39. ACS Omega. 2022 Feb 01. 7(4): 3568-3578
      The R132H mutation in the metabolic enzyme isocitrate dehydrogenase 1 (IDH1) is the most important prognostic factor for the survival of glioma patients. Subsequent studies led to the discovery of a panel of enzymes mainly involved in glutamate anaplerosis and aerobic glycolysis that change in abundance as a result of the IDH1 mutation. To further study these changes, appropriate glioma models are required that accurately mimic in vivo metabolism. To investigate how metabolism is affected by in vitro cell culture, we here compared surgically obtained snap-frozen glioma tissues with their corresponding primary glioma cell culture models with a previously developed targeted mass spectrometry proteomic assay. We determined the relative abundance of a panel of metabolic enzymes. Results confirmed increased glutamate use and decreased aerobic glycolysis in resected IDH1 R132H glioma tissue samples. However, these metabolic profiles were not reflected in the paired glioma primary cell cultures. We suggest that culture conditions and tumor microenvironment play a crucial role in maintaining the in vivo metabolic situation in cell culture models. For this reason, new models that more closely resemble the in vivo microenvironment, such as three-dimensional cell co-cultures or organotypic multicellular spheroid models, need to be developed and investigated.
  40. Sci Rep. 2022 Feb 08. 12(1): 2120
      Cytochrome c (Cyt c) is a key protein that is needed to maintain life (respiration) and cell death (apoptosis). The dual-function of Cyt c comes from its capability to act as mitochondrial redox carrier that transfers electrons between the membrane-embedded complexes III and IV and to serve as a cytoplasmic apoptosis-triggering agent, activating the caspase cascade. However, the precise roles of Cyt c in mitochondria, cytoplasm and extracellular matrix under normal and pathological conditions are not completely understood. To date, no pathway of Cyt c release that results in caspase activation has been compellingly demonstrated in any invertebrate. The significance of mitochondrial dysfunctionality has not been studied in ductal carcinoma to the best of our knowledge. We used Raman spectroscopy and imaging to monitor changes in the redox state of the mitochondrial cytochromes in ex vivo surgically resected specimens of human breast tissues, and in vitro human breast cells of normal cells (MCF 10A), slightly malignant cells (MCF7) and highly aggressive cells (MDA-MB-231). We showed that Raman imaging provides insight into the biology of human breast ductal cancer. Here we show that proper concentration of monounsaturated fatty acids, saturated fatty acids, cardiolipin and Cyt c is critical in the correct breast ductal functioning and constitutes an important parameter to assess breast epithelial cells integrity and homeostasis. We look inside human breast ducts by Raman imaging answering fundamental questions about location and distribution of various biochemical components inside the lumen, epithelial cells of the duct and the extracellular matrix around the cancer duct during cancer development in situ. Our results show that human breast cancers demonstrate a redox imbalance compared to normal tissue. The reduced cytochrome c is upregulated in all stages of cancers development. The results of the paper shed light on a largely non-investigated issues regarding cytochromes and mitochondrial function in electron transfer chain. We found in histopathologically controlled breast cancer duct that Cyt c, cardiolipin, and palmitic acid are the main components inside the lumen of cancerous duct in situ. The presented results show direct evidence that Cyt c is released to the lumen from the epithelial cells in cancerous duct. In contrast the lumen in normal duct is empty and free of Cyt c. Our results demonstrate how Cyt c is likely to function in cancer development. We anticipate our results to be a starting point for more sophisticated in vitro and in vivo animal models. For example, the correlation between concentration of Cyt c and cancer grade could be tested in various types of cancer. Furthermore, Cyt c is a target of anti-cancer drug development and a well-defined and quantitative Raman based assay for oxidative phosphorylation and apoptosis will be relevant for such developments.
  41. Hum Mol Genet. 2022 Feb 11. pii: ddac040. [Epub ahead of print]
    Care4Rare Canada Consortium
      Mitochondrial diseases are a group of inherited diseases with highly varied and complex clinical presentations. Here, we report four individuals, including two siblings, affected by a progressive mitochondrial encephalopathy with biallelic variants in the cardiolipin biosynthesis gene CRLS1. Three affected individuals had a similar infantile presentation comprising progressive encephalopathy, bull's eye maculopathy, auditory neuropathy, diabetes insipidus, autonomic instability, cardiac defects and early death. The fourth affected individual presented with chronic encephalopathy with neurodevelopmental regression, congenital nystagmus with decreased vision, sensorineural hearing loss, failure to thrive and acquired microcephaly. Using patient-derived fibroblasts, we characterised cardiolipin synthase 1 (CRLS1) dysfunction that impaired mitochondrial morphology and biogenesis, providing functional evidence that the CRLS1 variants cause a mitochondrial phenotype. Lipid profiling in fibroblasts from two patients further confirmed the functional defect demonstrating reduced cardiolipin levels, altered acyl-chain composition and significantly increased levels of phosphatidylglycerol, the substrate of CRLS1. Proteomic profiling of patient cells and mouse Crls1 knockout cell lines identified both endoplasmic reticular and mitochondrial stress responses, and key features that distinguish between varying degrees of cardiolipin insufficiency. These findings support that deleterious variants in CRLS1 cause an autosomal recessive mitochondrial disease, presenting as a severe encephalopathy with multisystemic involvement. Furthermore, we identify key signatures in cardiolipin and proteome profiles across various degrees of cardiolipin loss, facilitating the use of omics technologies to guide a diagnosis for this mitochondrial disease.
  42. Am J Cancer Res. 2022 ;12(1): 48-67
      Oral tongue squamous cell carcinoma (OTSCC) was one of the most hypoxic tumors with unfavorable outcomes. Hypoxia-inducible factor-1 (HIF-1) signaling was associated with cancer proliferation, lymph node metastasis, angiogenesis and poor prognosis of OTSCC. Dihydroorotate dehydrogenase (DHODH) catalyzed the rate-limiting step in the de novo pyrimidine biosynthesis. The aim of the study was to explore the biological function of DHODH and investigate whether DHODH regulated HIF-1 signaling in OTSCC. Proliferation, migration and anoikis resistance were used to determine the function of DHODH. Western blot and luciferase activity assays were used to determine the regulatory role of DHODH on HIF-1. We found that increased DHODH expression was associated with advanced tumor stage and poorly differentiated tumor in head and neck cancer patients in The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA). DHODH enhanced the proliferation and aggressiveness of OTSCC. Moreover, DHODH prompted tumor growth and metastasis in vivo. DHODH promoted transcription, protein stability, and transactivation activity of HIF1A. DHODH-induced HIF1A upregulation in OTSCC can be reversed by reactive oxygen species (ROS) scavenger, indicating that DHODH enhanced HIF1A expression via ROS production. DHODH inhibitor suppressed DHODH-mediated ROS generation and HIF1A upregulation. Targeting DHODH using clinically available inhibitor, atovaquone, might provide a new strategy to treat OTSCC.
    Keywords:  DHODH; HIF1A; OTSCC; ROS; atovaquone
  43. FASEB J. 2022 Mar;36(3): e22191
      Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is often diagnosed at an advanced stage and is, therefore, treated with systemic drugs, such as tyrosine-kinase inhibitors (TKIs). These drugs, however, offer only modest survival benefits due to the rapid development of drug resistance. To identify genes implicated in TKI resistance, a cluster of regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR)/CRISPR-associated protein 9 activation screen was performed in hepatoma cells treated with regorafenib, a TKI used as second-line therapy for advanced HCC. The screen results show that Hexokinase 1 (HK1), catalyzing the first step in glucose metabolism, is a top candidate for conferring TKI resistance. Compatible with this, HK1 was upregulated in regorafenib-resistant cells. Using several experimental approaches, both in vitro and in vivo, we show that TKI resistance correlates with HK1 expression. Furthermore, an HK inhibitor resensitized resistant cells to TKI treatment. Together, our data indicate that HK1 may function as a critical factor modulating TKI resistance in hepatoma cells and, therefore, may serve as a biomarker for treatment success.
    Keywords:  CRISPR activation; hepatocellular carcinoma; tyrosine-kinase inhibitors