bims-mibica Biomed News
on Mitochondrial bioenergetics in cancer
Issue of 2022‒07‒17
37 papers selected by
Kelsey Fisher-Wellman
East Carolina University

  1. Elife. 2022 Jul 11. pii: e73245. [Epub ahead of print]11
      Mitochondrial glutamate-oxaloacetate (GOT2) is part of the malate-aspartate shuttle (MAS), a mechanism by which cells transfer reducing equivalents from the cytosol to the mitochondria. GOT2 is a key component of mutant KRAS (KRAS*)-mediated rewiring of glutamine metabolism in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDA). Here, we demonstrate that the loss of GOT2 disturbs redox homeostasis and halts proliferation of PDA cells in vitro. GOT2 knockdown (KD) in PDA cell lines in vitro induced NADH accumulation, decreased Asp and α-ketoglutarate (αKG) production, stalled glycolysis, disrupted the TCA cycle, and impaired proliferation. Oxidizing NADH through chemical or genetic means resolved the redox imbalance induced by GOT2 KD, permitting sustained proliferation. Despite a strong in vitro inhibitory phenotype, loss of GOT2 had no effect on tumor growth in xenograft PDA or autochthonous mouse models. We show that cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAFs), a major component of the pancreatic tumor microenvironment (TME), release the redox active metabolite pyruvate, and culturing GOT2 KD cells in CAF conditioned media (CM) rescued proliferation in vitro. Furthermore, blocking pyruvate import or pyruvate-to-lactate reduction prevented rescue of GOT2 KD in vitro by exogenous pyruvate or CAF CM. However, these interventions failed to sensitize xenografts to GOT2 KD in vivo, demonstrating the remarkable plasticity and differential metabolism deployed by PDA cells in vitro and in vivo. This emphasizes how the environmental context of distinct pre-clinical models impacts both cell-intrinsic metabolic rewiring and metabolic crosstalk with the tumor microenvironment (TME).
    Keywords:  biochemistry; cancer biology; chemical biology; human; mouse
  2. Cell Metab. 2022 Jul 07. pii: S1550-4131(22)00228-5. [Epub ahead of print]
      The tumor microenvironment (TME) is a unique metabolic niche that can inhibit T cell metabolism and cytotoxicity. To dissect the metabolic interplay between tumors and T cells, we establish an in vitro system that recapitulates the metabolic niche of the TME and allows us to define cell-specific metabolism. We identify tumor-derived lactate as an inhibitor of CD8+ T cell cytotoxicity, revealing an unexpected metabolic shunt in the TCA cycle. Metabolically fit cytotoxic T cells shunt succinate out of the TCA cycle to promote autocrine signaling via the succinate receptor (SUCNR1). Cytotoxic T cells are reliant on pyruvate carboxylase (PC) to replenish TCA cycle intermediates. By contrast, lactate reduces PC-mediated anaplerosis. The inhibition of pyruvate dehydrogenase (PDH) is sufficient to restore PC activity, succinate secretion, and the activation of SUCNR1. These studies identify PDH as a potential drug target to allow CD8+ T cells to retain cytotoxicity and overcome a lactate-enriched TME.
    Keywords:  T cells; cancer metabolism; lactate; pyruvate; succinate; tumor immunity
  3. Mol Neurobiol. 2022 Jul 14.
      The mitochondrial theory of aging is characterized by mitochondrial electron transport chain dysfunction. As a hallmark of aging, an increasing number of investigations have attempted to improve mitochondrial function in both aging and age-related disease. Emerging from these attempts, methods involving mitochondrial isolation, transfusion, and transplantation have taken center stage. In particular, mitochondrial transfusion refers to the administration of mitochondria from healthy tissue into the bloodstream or into tissues affected by injury, disease, or aging. In this study, methods of mitochondrial isolation and transfusion were developed and utilized. First, we found a significant decrease (p < 0.05) in the expression of mitochondrial complex proteins (I-V) in aged (12 months old) mouse brain tissue (C57BL/6 mice) in comparison to healthy young brain tissue (1 month old). To investigate whether healthy young mitochondria taken from the liver could improve mitochondrial function in older animals, we intravenously injected mitochondria isolated from young C57BL/6 mice into aged mice from the same strain. This study, for the first time, demonstrates that mitochondrial transfusion significantly (p < 0.05) improves mitochondrial function via the up-regulation of the mitochondrial complex II protein subunit SDHB in the hippocampus of aged mice. This result has identified a role for mitochondrial complex II in the aging process. Therefore, mitochondrial complex II could serve as a putative target for therapeutic interventions against aging. However, more importantly, methods of mitochondrial transfusion should be further tested to treat a variety of human diseases or disorders and to slow down or reverse processes of aging.
    Keywords:  Age-related disease; Aging; Bioenergetics; Brain; Complex II; Mitochondrial dysfunction; Mitochondrial transfusion; Neuroscience
  4. Cancer Treat Res Commun. 2022 Jun 30. pii: S2468-2942(22)00090-9. [Epub ahead of print] 100600
      Evidence supports the antitumoral effects of physical activity, either in experimental animal models or humans. However, the biological mechanisms by which physical exercise modulates tumoral development are still unclear. An important feature of the tumor cells is the altered energy metabolism, often associated with definitions of tumor aggressiveness. Nevertheless, exercise can cause global metabolic changes in the body, as well as modulate tumor metabolism. Here we specifically discuss the metabolic changes found in tumors and how exercise can contribute to anti-tumoral effects by modulating the mitochondrial function, and tricarboxylic acid cycle-related metabolites of cancer cells. The effect of physical exercise on tumor metabolism is a new possibility for comprehension of cancer biology and developing therapies focused on tumor energy metabolism.
    Keywords:  Anti-tumoral; Cancer; Mitochondria; OXPHOS; TCA cycle
  5. ACS Nano. 2022 Jul 12.
      The clinical success of anticancer therapy is usually limited by drug resistance and the metastatic dissemination of cancer cells. Mitochondria are essential generators of cellular energy and play a crucial role in sustaining cell survival and metastatic escape. Selective drug strategies targeting mitochondria are able to rewire mitochondrial metabolism and may provide an alternative paradigm to treat many aggressive cancers with high efficiency and low toxicity. Here, we present a pseudo-stealthy mitochondria-targeted pro-nanotaxane and test it against recurrent and metastatic tumor xenografts. The nanoparticle encapsulates a mitochondria-targetable pro-taxane agent, which can be converted into the chemically unmodified cabazitaxel drug, with further surface cloaking with a low-density lipophilic triphenylphosphonium cation. The resultant nanotaxane could be effectively taken up by cells and consequently specifically localized to the mitochondria. The in situ activated cabazitaxel causes mitochondrial dysfunction and ultimately results in potent cell apoptosis. After intravenous administration to animals, pro-nanotaxane mimics the stealthy behavior of polyethylene glycol-cloaked nanoparticles to provide a long circulation time. The antitumor efficacy of this mitochondria-targeted system was validated in multiple preclinical drug-resistant tumor models. Notably, in a patient-derived metastatic melanoma model that was initially pretreated with cabazitaxel, nanotaxane administration not only produced durable tumor reduction but also substantially suppressed metastatic recurrence. Taken together, these results demonstrate that this combination of a pseudo-stealthy platform with a rationally designed pro-drug is an attractive approach to target mitochondria and enhance drug efficacy.
    Keywords:  drug resistance; metastasis; mitochondrial delivery; pro-drug engineering; pseudo-stealthy nanotaxane
  6. Cell Death Differ. 2022 Jul;29(7): 1304-1317
      During decades, the research field of cancer metabolism was based on the Warburg effect, described almost one century ago. Lately, the key role of mitochondria in cancer development has been demonstrated. Many mitochondrial pathways including oxidative phosphorylation, fatty acid, glutamine, and one carbon metabolism are altered in tumors, due to mutations in oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes, as well as in metabolic enzymes. This results in metabolic reprogramming that sustains rapid cell proliferation and can lead to an increase in reactive oxygen species used by cancer cells to maintain pro-tumorigenic signaling pathways while avoiding cellular death. The knowledge acquired on the importance of mitochondrial cancer metabolism is now being translated into clinical practice. Detailed genomic, transcriptomic, and metabolomic analysis of tumors are necessary to develop more precise treatments. The successful use of drugs targeting metabolic mitochondrial enzymes has highlighted the potential for their use in precision medicine and many therapeutic candidates are in clinical trials. However, development of efficient personalized drugs has proved challenging and the combination with other strategies such as chemocytotoxic drugs, immunotherapy, and ketogenic or calorie restriction diets is likely necessary to boost their potential. In this review, we summarize the main mitochondrial features, metabolic pathways, and their alterations in different cancer types. We also present an overview of current inhibitors, highlight enzymes that are attractive targets, and discuss challenges with translation of these approaches into clinical practice. The role of mitochondria in cancer is indisputable and presents several attractive targets for both tailored and personalized cancer therapy.
  7. Front Oncol. 2022 ;12 906494
      The most common cancers of the aerodigestive tract (ADT) are non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC). The tumor stroma plays an important role in ADT cancer development and progression, and contributes to the metabolic heterogeneity of tumors. Cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAFs) are the most abundant cell type in the tumor stroma of ADT cancers and exert pro-tumorigenic functions. Metabolically, glycolytic CAFs support the energy needs of oxidative (OXPHOS) carcinoma cells. Upregulation of the monocarboxylate transporter 4 (MCT4) and downregulation of isocitrate dehydrogenase 3α (IDH3α) are markers of glycolysis in CAFs, and upregulation of the monocarboxylate transporter 1 (MCT1) and the translocase of the outer mitochondrial membrane 20 (TOMM20) are markers of OXPHOS in carcinoma cells. It is unknown if glycolytic metabolism in CAFs is a driver of ADT cancer aggressiveness. In this study, co-cultures in vitro and co-injections in mice of ADT carcinoma cells with fibroblasts were used as experimental models to study the effects of fibroblasts on metabolic compartmentalization, oxidative stress, carcinoma cell proliferation and apoptosis, and overall tumor growth. Glycolytic metabolism in fibroblasts was modulated using the HIF-1α inhibitor BAY 87-2243, the antioxidant N-acetyl cysteine, and genetic depletion of MCT4. We found that ADT human tumors express markers of metabolic compartmentalization and that co-culture models of ADT cancers recapitulate human metabolic compartmentalization, have high levels of oxidative stress, and promote carcinoma cell proliferation and survival. In these models, BAY 87-2243 rescues IDH3α expression and NAC reduces MCT4 expression in fibroblasts, and these treatments decrease ADT carcinoma cell proliferation and increase cell death. Genetic depletion of fibroblast MCT4 decreases proliferation and survival of ADT carcinoma cells in co-culture. Moreover, co-injection of ADT carcinoma cells with fibroblasts lacking MCT4 reduces tumor growth and decreases the expression of markers of metabolic compartmentalization in tumors. In conclusion, metabolic compartmentalization with high expression of MCT4 in CAFs drives aggressiveness in ADT cancers.
    Keywords:  aerodigestive tract cancer; cancer-associated fibroblast (CAF); glycolysis; head and neck squamous cell carcinoma; metabolic compartmentalization; monocarboxylate transporter 4 (MCT4); non-small cell lung cancer; tumor metabolism
  8. Cell Cycle. 2022 Jul 10. 1-16
      Embryonic stem cells (ESCs) and induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) have distinct origins: ESCs are derived from pre-implanted embryos while iPSCs are reprogrammed somatic cells. Both have their own characteristics and lineage specificity, and both are valuable tools for studying human neurological development and disease. Thus far, few studies have analyzed how differences between stem cell types influence mitochondrial function and mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) homeostasis during differentiation into neural and glial lineages. In this study, we compared mitochondrial function and mtDNA replication in human ESCs and iPSCs at three different stages - pluripotent, neural progenitor and astrocyte. We found that while ESCs and iPSCs have a similar mitochondrial signature, neural and astrocyte derivations manifested differences. At the neural stem cell (NSC) stage, iPSC-NSCs displayed decreased ATP production and a reduction in mitochondrial respiratory chain (MRC) complex IV expression compared to ESC-NSCs. IPSC-astrocytes showed increased mitochondrial activity including elevated ATP production, MRC complex IV expression, mtDNA copy number and mitochondrial biogenesis relative to those derived from ESCs. These findings show that while ESCs and iPSCs are similar at the pluripotent stage, differences in mitochondrial function may develop during differentiation and must be taken into account when extrapolating results from different cell types.Abbreviation: BSA: Bovine serum albumin; DCFDA: 2',7'-dichlorodihydrofluorescein diacetate; DCX: Doublecortin; EAAT-1: Excitatory amino acid transporter 1; ESCs: Embryonic stem cells; GFAP: Glial fibrillary acidic protein; GS: Glutamine synthetase; iPSCs: Induced pluripotent stem cells; LC3B: Microtubule-associated protein 1 light chain 3β; LC-MS: Liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry; mito-ROS: Mitochondrial ROS; MMP: Mitochondrial membrane potential; MRC: Mitochondrial respiratory chain; mtDNA: Mitochondrial DNA; MTDR: MitoTracker Deep Red; MTG: MitoTracker Green; NSCs: Neural stem cells; PDL: Poly-D-lysine; PFA: Paraformaldehyde; PGC-1α: PPAR-γ coactivator-1 alpha; PPAR-γ: Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-gamma; p-SIRT1: Phosphorylated sirtuin 1; p-ULK1: Phosphorylated unc-51 like autophagy activating kinase 1; qPCR: Quantitative PCR; RT: Room temperature; RT-qPCR: Quantitative reverse transcription PCR; SEM: Standard error of the mean; TFAM: Mitochondrial transcription factor A; TMRE: Tetramethylrhodamine ethyl ester; TOMM20: Translocase of outer mitochondrial membrane 20.
    Keywords:  ESCs; IPSCs; NSCs; astrocytes; mitochondrial biogenesis; mitochondrial function
  9. Hepatology. 2022 Jul 11.
      BACKGROUND & AIMS: Natural killer (NK) cells are key players in tumor immunosurveillance and metabolic adaption manipulates their fate and functional state. The nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+ ) has emerged as a vital factor to link cellular metabolism and signaling transduction. Here, we identified NAD+ metabolism as a central hub to determine the homeostasis and function of NK cells.APPROACH & RESULTS: NAD+ level was elevated in activated NK cells. NAD+ supplementation not only enhanced cytokine production and cytotoxicity, but also improved the proliferation and viability of NK cells. Intriguingly, the salvage pathway was involved in maintaining NAD+ homeostasis in activated NK cells. Genetic ablation or pharmacological blockade of nicotinamide phosphoribosyltransferase (NAMPT), the rate-limiting enzyme in the NAD+ salvage pathway, markedly destroyed the viability and function of NK cells. Mechanistically, NAD+ salvage dictated the mitochondrial homeostasis and oxidative phosphorylation activity to support the optimal function of NK cells. However, in human hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) tissues, NAMPT expression and NAD+ level were significantly downregulated in tumor-infiltrating NK cells (TINKs), which negatively correlated with patient survival. And, lactate accumulation in tumor microenvironment was at least partially responsible for the transcriptional repression of NAMPT in NK cells. Further, deficiency of Nampt in NK cells accelerated the growth of HCC and melanoma. Supplementation of NAD+ precursor, nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN), significantly improved NK anti-tumor response in both mouse and human cell-derived xenograft.
    CONCLUSIONS: These findings reveal NAD+ salvage as an essential factor for NK cell homeostasis and function, suggesting a potential strategy for invigorating NK cell-based immunotherapy.
  10. Front Aging. 2021 ;2 681428
      Mitochondrial health and cellular metabolism can heavily influence the onset of senescence in T cells. CD8+ EMRA T cells exhibit mitochondrial dysfunction and alterations to oxidative phosphorylation, however, the metabolic properties of senescent CD8+ T cells from people living with type 2 diabetes (T2D) are not known. We show here that mitochondria from T2D CD8+ T cells had a higher oxidative capacity together with increased levels of mitochondrial reactive oxgen species (mtROS), compared to age-matched control cells. While fatty acid uptake was increased, fatty acid oxidation was impaired in T2D CD8+ EMRA T cells, which also showed an accumulation of lipid droplets and decreased AMPK activity. Increasing glucose and fatty acids in healthy CD8+ T cells resulted in increased p-p53 expression and a fragmented mitochondrial morphology, similar to that observed in T2D CD8+ EMRA T cells. The resulting mitochondrial changes are likely to have a profound effect on T cell function. Consequently, a better understanding of these metabolic abnormalities is crucial as metabolic manipulation of these cells may restore correct T cell function and help reduce the impact of T cell dysfunction in T2D.
    Keywords:  T cell; ageing; inflammation; metabolism; mitochondria; senescence; type 2 diabetes
  11. BBA Adv. 2021 ;pii: 100027. [Epub ahead of print]1
      Respiratory Complex I, a multi-subunit, membrane-bound enzyme, oxidizes NADH in the electron transport chains of mammalian mitochondria, and many bacterial species. We have examined in vivo assembly of the membrane subunits of Complex I from E. coli. Complexes of J-K, L-M, M-N, and J-K-L-M-N were observed by both native gel electrophoresis and co-immunoprecipitation, when subsets of the genes were expressed. Subunit L (ND5 in humans), the most distal membrane subunit, with an unusual extended C-terminal segment, did not join with M-N, and but could join with J-K-M-N. When the genes were split between two plasmids, with L, M, and N subunits expressed in various combinations from one plasmid, the resulting enzyme activity in membrane vesicles dropped to 19-60% relative to expression from the whole operon encoded on one plasmid. When L was expressed after a time-delay, rather than simultaneously, the activity increased from 28% to 100%, indicating that it can efficiently join a preformed complex lacking L. In contrast, when larger groups of membrane subunits were expressed last, LMN or JKLMN, assembly was much less efficient. The two-plasmid expression system was used to re-analyze C-terminal mutations in subunit K (ND4L), which occur near the overlapping nuoK and L genes. These mutations were found to disrupt assembly, indicating the importance of the junction of L, N and K subunits. The results highlight the temporal and spatial aspects of gene expression that allow efficient assembly of the membrane subunits of Complex I.
    Keywords:  Complex I; NADH dehydrogenase; bioenergetics; membrane protein; native gel electrophoresis; protein assembly
  12. Mol Metab. 2022 Jul 08. pii: S2212-8778(22)00115-6. [Epub ahead of print] 101546
      BACKGROUND: Systemic low-grade inflammation observed in diet-induced obesity has been associated with dysbiosis and disturbance of intestinal homeostasis. This latter relies on an efficient epithelial barrier and coordinated intestinal epithelial cell (IEC) renewal that are supported by their mitochondrial function. However, IEC mitochondrial function might be impaired by high fat diet (HFD) consumption, notably through gut-derived metabolite production and fatty acids, that may act as metabolic perturbators of IEC.SCOPE OF REVIEW: This review presents the current general knowledge on mitochondria, before focusing on IEC mitochondrial function and its role in the control of intestinal homeostasis, and featuring the known effects of nutrients and metabolites, originating from the diet or gut bacterial metabolism, on IEC mitochondrial function. It then summarizes the impact of HFD on mitochondrial function in IEC of both small intestine and colon and discusses the possible link between mitochondrial dysfunction and altered intestinal homeostasis in diet-induced obesity.
    MAJOR CONCLUSIONS: HFD consumption provokes a metabolic shift toward fatty acid β-oxidation in the small intestine epithelial cells and impairs colonocyte mitochondrial function, possibly through downstream consequences of excessive fatty acid β-oxidation and/or the presence of deleterious metabolites produced by the gut microbiota. Decreased levels of ATP and concomitant O2 leaks into the intestinal lumen could explain the alterations of intestinal epithelium dynamics, barrier disruption and dysbiosis that contribute to the loss of epithelial homeostasis in diet-induced obesity. However, the effect of HFD on IEC mitochondrial function in the small intestine remains unknown and the precise mechanisms by which HFD induces mitochondrial dysfunction in the colon have not been elucidated so far.
    Keywords:  Energy metabolism; High fat diet; Intestine; Mitochondria; Obesity
  13. Cell Biol Int. 2022 Jul 12.
      The interaction of cancer cells with their tumor microenvironment determines key events in the progression of the disease, therapeutic efficacy, and the development of drug resistance. Here, we presented evidence that tamoxifen support breast cancer growth during nutrition deprivation by modulating mitochondrial dynamics through AMPK and MAPK signaling. Tamoxifen enhances mitochondrial fusion under nutrition-deprived conditions by suppressing Drp1 ser616 phosphorylation and upregulating Mfn1 levels. Tamoxifen-induced mitochondrial fusion is mediated by the activation of AMPK as evident by the pharmacological inhibition of AMPK reverse mitochondrial fusion. Interestingly, JNK activation by tamoxifen controls the mitochondrial fusion morphology by downregulating Mfn2. Collectively, tamoxifen support cell growth by enhancing mitochondrial fusion by regulating stress kinase signaling under nutrition deprivation condition.
    Keywords:  AMPK; MAPK; Tamoxifen; mitochondrial dynamics; nutrition deprivation
  14. Front Oncol. 2022 ;12 883318
      High-risk neuroblastoma (NB) portends very poor prognoses in children. Targeting tumor metabolism has emerged as a novel therapeutic strategy. High levels of nicotinamide-adenine-dinucleotide (NAD+) are required for rapid cell proliferation. Nicotinamide phosphoribosyl transferase (NAMPT) is the rate-limiting enzyme for NAD+ salvage and is overexpressed in several cancers. Here, we determine the potential of NAMPT as a therapeutic target for NB treatment. NAMPT inhibition cytotoxicity was determined by trypan blue exclusion and LDH assays. Neuroblastoma stem cell self-renewal was evaluated by neurosphere assay. Protein expression was evaluated via Western blot. The effect of targeting NAMPT in vivo was determined using an NB1691-xenografted mouse model. Robust NAMPT expression was demonstrated in multiple N-MYC amplified, high-risk neuroblastoma cell lines. NAMPT inhibition with STF-118804 (STF) decreased ATP, induced apoptosis, and reduced NB stem cell neurosphere formation. STF treatment down-regulated N-MYC levels and abrogated AKT activation. AKT and glycolytic pathway inhibitors in combination with NAMPT inhibition induced robust, greater-than-additive neuroblastoma cell death. Lastly, STF treatment blocked neuroblastoma tumor growth in mouse xenograft models. NAMPT is a valid therapeutic target as inhibition promoted neuroblastoma cell death in vitro and prevented tumor growth in vivo. Further investigation is warranted to establish this therapy's role as an adjunctive modality.
    Keywords:  Glycolysis; N-MYC; NAD; NAMPT (Nicotinamide Phosphoribosyltransferase); metabolism; neuroblastoma; precision medicine
  15. Adv Healthc Mater. 2022 Jul 12. e2200742
      The mitochondria represent a potential target for the treatment of triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) and shikonin (SK) has shown remarkable therapeutic effects on TNBC. Herein, we found that SK possesses potent inhibitory effects on mitochondrial biogenesis via targeting polymerase gamma (POLG). However, its application is restricted by its poor aqueous solubility and stability and therefore, we have designed a biomimetic micelle to aid with tumor lesion accumulation and mitochondria-targeted delivery of SK. A folic acid (FA) conjugated polyethylene glycol derivative (FA-PEG-FA) was inserted onto the external membranes of red blood cells (FP-RBCm) to prepare a "right-side-out" RBCm camouflaged cationic micelle (ThTM/SK@FP-RBCm). Both FP-RBCm coating and a triphenylphosphine (TPP) moiety on the periphery of micelles contributed to tumor lesion distribution, receptor-mediated cellular uptake, and electrostatic attraction-dependent mitochondrial targeting, thereby maximizing inhibitory effects on mitochondrial biosynthesis in TNBC cells. Intravenous administration of ThTM/SK@FP-RBCm led to profound inhibition of tumor growth and lung metastasis in a TNBC mouse model with no obvious toxicity. Our work highlights the mitochondria-targeted delivery of SK using a "right-side-out" membrane camouflaged micelle for the inhibition of mitochondrial biogenesis and enhanced therapeutic effects on TNBC. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
    Keywords:  Biomimetic; Micelles; Mitochondrial biogenesis; Shikonin; Triple-negative breast cancer
  16. Mol Cancer Res. 2022 Jul 14. pii: mcr.22.0026. [Epub ahead of print]
      Exchange Proteins directly Activated by cAMP (EPACs) belong to a family of RAP guanine nucleotide exchange factors (RAPGEF). EPAC1/2 (RAPGEF3/4) activate RAP1 and the alternative cAMP signaling pathway. We previously showed that the differential growth response of primary and metastatic melanoma cells to cAMP is mediated by EPAC. However, the mechanisms responsible for this differential response to EPAC signaling are not understood. In this study, we show that pharmacological inhibition or siRNA-mediated knockdown of EPAC selectively inhibits the growth and survival of primary melanoma cells by downregulation of cell cycle proteins and inhibiting the cell cycle progression independent of ERK1/2 phosphorylation. EPAC inhibition results in upregulation of AKT phosphorylation but a downregulation of mTORC1 activity and its downstream effectors. We also show that EPAC regulates both glycolysis and oxidative phosphorylation, and production of mitochondrial reactive oxygen species, preferentially in primary melanoma cells. Employing a series of genetically matched primary and lymph node metastatic (LNM) melanoma cells, and distant organ metastatic melanoma (MM) cells, we show that the LNM and MM cells become progressively less responsive and refractory to EPAC inhibition suggesting loss of dependency on EPAC signaling correlates with melanoma progression. Analysis of TCGA dataset showed that lower RAPGEF3, RAPGEF4 mRNA expression in primary tumor is a predictor of better disease-free survival of patients diagnosed with primary melanoma suggesting that EPAC signaling facilitates tumor progression and EPAC is a useful prognostic marker. These data highlight EPAC signaling as a potential target for prevention of melanoma progression. Implications: This study establishes loss of dependency on EPAC-mTORC1 signaling as hallmark of primary melanoma evolution and targeting this escape mechanism is a promising strategy for metastatic melanoma.
  17. Exp Gerontol. 2022 Jul 07. pii: S0531-5565(22)00197-8. [Epub ahead of print]166 111889
      The regulation of mitochondrial turnover under conditions of stress occurs partly through the AMPK-NAD+-PGC1α-SIRT1 signalling pathway. This pathway can be affected by both genomic instability and chronic inflammation since these will result in an increased rate of NAD+ degradation through PARP1 and CD38 respectively. In this work we develop a computational model of this signalling pathway, calibrating and validating it against experimental data. The computational model is used to study mitochondrial turnover under conditions of stress and how it is affected by genomic instability, chronic inflammation and biological ageing in general. We report that the AMPK-NAD+-PGC1α-SIRT1 signalling pathway becomes less responsive with age and that this can prime for the accumulation of dysfunctional mitochondria.
    Keywords:  Cell Signalling; DNA damage; Mito-nuclear communication; Mitochondria; NAD; Systems modelling
  18. J Clin Invest. 2022 Jul 15. pii: e157410. [Epub ahead of print]132(14):
      The metabolic dependencies of cancer cells have substantial potential to be exploited to improve the diagnosis and treatment of cancer. Creatine riboside (CR) is identified as a urinary metabolite associated with risk and prognosis in lung and liver cancer. However, the source of high CR levels in patients with cancer as well as their implications for the treatment of these aggressive cancers remain unclear. By integrating multiomics data on lung and liver cancer, we have shown that CR is a cancer cell-derived metabolite. Global metabolomics and gene expression analysis of human tumors and matched liquid biopsies, together with functional studies, revealed that dysregulation of the mitochondrial urea cycle and a nucleotide imbalance were associated with high CR levels and indicators of a poor prognosis. This metabolic phenotype was associated with reduced immune infiltration and supported rapid cancer cell proliferation that drove aggressive tumor growth. CRhi cancer cells were auxotrophic for arginine, revealing a metabolic vulnerability that may be exploited therapeutically. This highlights the potential of CR not only as a poor-prognosis biomarker but also as a companion biomarker to inform the administration of arginine-targeted therapies in precision medicine strategies to improve survival for patients with cancer.
    Keywords:  Cancer; Lung cancer; Oncology
  19. Nat Commun. 2022 Jul 09. 13(1): 3998
      Basic processes of the fatty acid metabolism have an important impact on the function of intestinal epithelial cells (IEC). However, while the role of cellular fatty acid oxidation is well appreciated, it is not clear how de novo fatty acid synthesis (FAS) influences the biology of IECs. We report here that interfering with de novo FAS by deletion of the enzyme Acetyl-CoA-Carboxylase (ACC)1 in IECs results in the loss of epithelial crypt structures and a specific decline in Lgr5+ intestinal epithelial stem cells (ISC). Mechanistically, ACC1-mediated de novo FAS supports the formation of intestinal organoids and the differentiation of complex crypt structures by sustaining the nuclear accumulation of PPARδ/β-catenin in ISCs. The dependency of ISCs on cellular de novo FAS is tuned by the availability of environmental lipids, as an excess delivery of external fatty acids is sufficient to rescue the defect in crypt formation. Finally, inhibition of ACC1 reduces the formation of tumors in colitis-associated colon cancer, together highlighting the importance of cellular lipogenesis for sustaining ISC function and providing a potential perspective to colon cancer therapy.
  20. Nature. 2022 Jul 13.
      The morphology and functionality of the epithelial lining differ along the intestinal tract, but tissue renewal at all sites is driven by stem cells at the base of crypts1-3. Whether stem cell numbers and behaviour vary at different sites is unknown. Here we show using intravital microscopy that, despite similarities in the number and distribution of proliferative cells with an Lgr5 signature in mice, small intestinal crypts contain twice as many effective stem cells as large intestinal crypts. We find that, although passively displaced by a conveyor-belt-like upward movement, small intestinal cells positioned away from the crypt base can function as long-term effective stem cells owing to Wnt-dependent retrograde cellular movement. By contrast, the near absence of retrograde movement in the large intestine restricts cell repositioning, leading to a reduction in effective stem cell number. Moreover, after suppression of the retrograde movement in the small intestine, the number of effective stem cells is reduced, and the rate of monoclonal conversion of crypts is accelerated. Together, these results show that the number of effective stem cells is determined by active retrograde movement, revealing a new channel of stem cell regulation that can be experimentally and pharmacologically manipulated.
  21. Nat Metab. 2022 Jul 11.
      Mitochondria are vital organelles with distinct morphological features and functional properties. The dynamic network of mitochondria undergoes structural and functional adaptations in response to cell-type-specific metabolic demands. Even within the same cell, mitochondria can display wide diversity and separate into functionally distinct subpopulations. Mitochondrial heterogeneity supports unique subcellular functions and is crucial to polarized cells, such as neurons. The spatiotemporal metabolic burden within the complex shape of a neuron requires precisely localized mitochondria. By travelling great lengths throughout neurons and experiencing bouts of immobility, mitochondria meet distant local fuel demands. Understanding mitochondrial heterogeneity and homeostasis mechanisms in neurons provides a framework to probe their significance to many other cell types. Here, we put forth an outline of the multifaceted role of mitochondria in regulating neuronal physiology and cellular functions more broadly.
  22. Exp Hematol Oncol. 2022 Jul 14. 11(1): 42
      Pyruvate kinase M2 (PKM2) plays an important role in the metabolism and proliferation of leukemia cells. Here, we show that deubiquitinase JOSD2, a novel tumor suppressor, blocks PKM2 nuclear localization by reducing its K433 acetylation in acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Firstly, we show that JOSD2 is significantly down-regulated in primary AML cells. Reconstitute of JOSD2 in AML cells significantly inhibit cell viability and induce cell apoptosis. Next, PKM2 is identified as a novel interaction protein of JOSD2 by mass spectrometry, co- immunoprecipitation and co-immunofluorescence in HL60 cells. However, JOSD2 does not affect PKM2 protein stability. We then found out that JOSD2 inhibits nuclear localization of PKM2 by reducing its K433 acetylation modification, accompanied by decreased downstream gene expression through non-glycolytic functions. Finally, JOSD2 decreases AML progression in vivo. Taken together, we propose that JOSD2 blocks PKM2 nuclear localization and reduces AML progression.
    Keywords:  Acute myeloid leukemia; JOSD2; Nuclear localization; PKM2
  23. Cell Chem Biol. 2022 Jun 29. pii: S2451-9456(22)00236-7. [Epub ahead of print]
      Ferroptosis is an important mediator of pathophysiological cell death and an emerging target for cancer therapy. Whether ferroptosis sensitivity is governed by a single regulatory mechanism is unclear. Here, based on the integration of 24 published chemical genetic screens combined with targeted follow-up experimentation, we find that the genetic regulation of ferroptosis sensitivity is highly variable and context-dependent. For example, the lipid metabolic gene acyl-coenzyme A (CoA) synthetase long chain family member 4 (ACSL4) appears far more essential for ferroptosis triggered by direct inhibition of the lipid hydroperoxidase glutathione peroxidase 4 (GPX4) than by cystine deprivation. Despite this, distinct pro-ferroptotic stimuli converge upon a common lethal effector mechanism: accumulation of lipid peroxides at the plasma membrane. These results indicate that distinct genetic mechanisms regulate ferroptosis sensitivity, with implications for the initiation and analysis of this process in vivo.
    Keywords:  ACSL4; PUFA; ROS; cancer; ether lipid; ferroptosis; iron
  24. R Soc Open Sci. 2022 Jul;9(7): 211842
      We show that the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) copy number in growing cultures of the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae increases by a factor of up to 4, being lowest (approx. 10 per haploid genome) and stable during rapid fermentative growth, and highest at the end of the respiratory phase. When yeast are grown on glucose, the onset of the mtDNA copy number increase coincides with the early stages of the diauxic shift, and the increase continues through respiration. A lesser yet still substantial copy number increase occurs when yeast are grown on a nonfermentable carbon source, i.e. when there is no diauxic shift. The mtDNA copy number increase during and for some time after the diauxic shift is not driven by an increase in cell size. The copy number increase occurs in both haploid and diploid strains but is markedly attenuated in a diploid wild isolate that is a ready sporulator. Strain-to-strain differences in mtDNA copy number are least apparent in fermentation and most apparent in late respiration or stationary phase. While changes in mitochondrial morphology and function were previously known to accompany changes in physiological state, it had not been previously shown that the mtDNA copy number changes substantially over time in a clonal growing culture. The mtDNA copy number in yeast is therefore a highly dynamic phenotype.
    Keywords:  S. cerevisiae; mitochondria; mtDNA; mtDNA copy number; yeast
  25. Nucleic Acids Res. 2022 Jul 12. pii: gkac581. [Epub ahead of print]
      The removal of RNA primers is essential for mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) replication. Several nucleases have been implicated in RNA primer removal in human mitochondria, however, no conclusive mechanism has been elucidated. Here, we reconstituted minimal in vitro system capable of processing RNA primers into ligatable DNA ends. We show that human 5'-3' exonuclease, EXOG, plays a fundamental role in removal of the RNA primer. EXOG cleaves short and long RNA-containing flaps but also in cooperation with RNase H1, processes non-flap RNA-containing intermediates. Our data indicate that the enzymatic activity of both enzymes is necessary to process non-flap RNA-containing intermediates and that regardless of the pathway, EXOG-mediated RNA cleavage is necessary prior to ligation by DNA Ligase III. We also show that upregulation of EXOG levels in mitochondria increases ligation efficiency of RNA-containing substrates and discover physical interactions, both in vitro and in cellulo, between RNase H1 and EXOG, Pol γA, Pol γB and Lig III but not FEN1, which we demonstrate to be absent from mitochondria of human lung epithelial cells. Together, using human mtDNA replication enzymes, we reconstitute for the first time RNA primer removal reaction and propose a novel model for RNA primer processing in human mitochondria.
  26. Mol Biol Rep. 2022 Jul 14.
      BACKGROUND: Normal cells produce energy (ATP) through mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation in the presence of oxygen. However, many of the cancer cells produce energy with accelerated glycolysis and perform lactic acid production even under normoxic conditions called "The Warburg Effect". In this study, human lung carcinoma cells (A549) were incubated in either a normoxic or hypoxic environment containing 5 mM glucose (Glc 5), 25 mM glucose (Glc 25), or 10 mM galactose (OXPHOS/aglycemic), and then the bioenergetic pathway was anaylsed.METHODS AND RESULTS: HIF-1α stabilization of A549 cells with different metabolic conditions in normoxia and hypoxia (1% O2) was determined using the western blot method. After that, L-lactic acid analysis, p-PDH/PDH expression ratio, ATP analysis, and citrate synthase activity experiments were also performed. It was determined that HIF-1α stabilization reached the maximum level at the 4 h. It has been found that glycolytic cells produce approximately five times more lactate than OXPHOS cells under both normoxia and hypoxia conditions and also have a higher p-PDH/PDH ratio. It has been determined that citrate synthase activity in hypoxia of all metabolic conditions is lower than normoxia. It has been determined that Glc 5 and Glc 25 cells have more ATP production under normoxia than Glc 5 and Glc 25 cells in hypoxia. OXPHOS cells have showed more ATP production in hypoxia.
    CONCLUSION: It has been determined that oxidative phosphorylation became functional in a hypoxic aglycemic environment despite the metabolic programming regulated by HIF-1α. This data is important in determining targets for therapeutic intervention.
    Keywords:  A549 cells; Glucose metabolism; Oxidative phosphorylation; Tumor hypoxia; Warburg effect
  27. Cancer Commun (Lond). 2022 Jul 15.
      BACKGROUND: Autophagy is elevated in metastatic tumors and is often associated with active epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT). However, the extent to which EMT is dependent on autophagy is largely unknown. This study aimed to identify the mechanisms by which autophagy facilitates EMT.METHODS: We employed a liquid chromatography-based metabolomic approach with kirsten rat sarcoma viral oncogene (KRAS) and liver kinase B1 (LKB1) gene co-mutated (KL) cells that represent an autophagy/EMT-coactivated invasive lung cancer subtype for the identification of metabolites linked to autophagy-driven EMT activation. Molecular mechanisms of autophagy-driven EMT activation were further investigated by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR), Western blotting analysis, immunoprecipitation, immunofluorescence staining, and metabolite assays. The effects of chemical and genetic perturbations on autophagic flux were assessed by two orthogonal approaches: microtubule-associated protein 1A/1B-light chain 3 (LC3) turnover analysis by Western blotting and monomeric red fluorescent protein-green fluorescent protein (mRFP-GFP)-LC3 tandem fluorescent protein quenching assay. Transcription factor EB (TFEB) activity was measured by coordinated lysosomal expression and regulation (CLEAR) motif-driven luciferase reporter assay. Experimental metastasis (tail vein injection) mouse models were used to evaluate the impact of calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase kinase 2 (CAMKK2) or ATP citrate lyase (ACLY) inhibitors on lung metastasis using IVIS luciferase imaging system.
    RESULTS: We found that autophagy in KL cancer cells increased acetyl-coenzyme A (acetyl-CoA), which facilitated the acetylation and stabilization of the EMT-inducing transcription factor Snail. The autophagy/acetyl-CoA/acetyl-Snail axis was further validated in tumor tissues and in autophagy-activated pancreatic cancer cells. TFEB acetylation in KL cancer cells sustained pro-metastatic autophagy in a mammalian target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1)-independent manner. Pharmacological inhibition of this axis via CAMKK2 inhibitors or ACLY inhibitors consistently reduced the metastatic capacity of KL cancer cells in vivo.
    CONCLUSIONS: This study demonstrates that autophagy-derived acetyl-CoA promotes Snail acetylation and thereby facilitates invasion and metastasis of KRAS-LKB1 co-mutated lung cancer cells and that inhibition of the autophagy/acetyl-CoA/acetyl-Snail axis using CAMKK2 or ACLY inhibitors could be a potential therapeutic strategy to suppress metastasis of KL lung cancer.
    Keywords:  ACLY; CAMKK2; KRAS inhibitor; acetyl-coenzyme A; acetyl-snail; autophagy; epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition; metastasis; non-small-cell lung cancer; pancreatic cancer; snail
  28. BMC Biol. 2022 Jul 15. 20(1): 163
      INTRODUCTION: Aggressive cancers commonly ferment glucose to lactic acid at high rates, even in the presence of oxygen. This is known as aerobic glycolysis, or the "Warburg Effect." It is widely assumed that this is a consequence of the upregulation of glycolytic enzymes. Oncogenic drivers can increase the expression of most proteins in the glycolytic pathway, including the terminal step of exporting H+ equivalents from the cytoplasm. Proton exporters maintain an alkaline cytoplasmic pH, which can enhance all glycolytic enzyme activities, even in the absence of oncogene-related expression changes. Based on this observation, we hypothesized that increased uptake and fermentative metabolism of glucose could be driven by the expulsion of H+ equivalents from the cell.RESULTS: To test this hypothesis, we stably transfected lowly glycolytic MCF-7, U2-OS, and glycolytic HEK293 cells to express proton-exporting systems: either PMA1 (plasma membrane ATPase 1, a yeast H+-ATPase) or CA-IX (carbonic anhydrase 9). The expression of either exporter in vitro enhanced aerobic glycolysis as measured by glucose consumption, lactate production, and extracellular acidification rate. This resulted in an increased intracellular pH, and metabolomic analyses indicated that this was associated with an increased flux of all glycolytic enzymes upstream of pyruvate kinase. These cells also demonstrated increased migratory and invasive phenotypes in vitro, and these were recapitulated in vivo by more aggressive behavior, whereby the acid-producing cells formed higher-grade tumors with higher rates of metastases. Neutralizing tumor acidity with oral buffers reduced the metastatic burden.
    CONCLUSIONS: Therefore, cancer cells which increase export of H+ equivalents subsequently increase intracellular alkalization, even without oncogenic driver mutations, and this is sufficient to alter cancer metabolism towards an upregulation of aerobic glycolysis, a Warburg phenotype. Overall, we have shown that the traditional understanding of cancer cells favoring glycolysis and the subsequent extracellular acidification is not always linear. Cells which can, independent of metabolism, acidify through proton exporter activity can sufficiently drive their metabolism towards glycolysis providing an important fitness advantage for survival.
    Keywords:  CA-IX; Cancer; Glycolysis; Metastasis; PMA1; Proton; Warburg; pH
  29. Transl Cancer Res. 2022 Jun;11(6): 1488-1502
      Background: Clear cell renal cell carcinoma (ccRCC) is characterized by high metastasis potential. It is of great importance to explore the mechanisms underlying ccRCC metastasis and to enable development of potent therapeutics. The mitochondrial complex I (CI) had been considered to play an important role in the development of cancers, but less known in ccRCC.Methods: We utilized available public databases of ccRCC, including single-cell RNA sequencing (scRNA-seq) data GSE73121 and The Cancer Genome Atlas-kidney renal clear cell carcinoma (TCGA-KIRC). Principal component analysis (PCA) and t-Distributed Stochastic Neighbor Embedding (tSNE) analysis were evaluated the heterogeneity of metastatic renal cell carcinoma (mRCC) and primary renal cell carcinoma (pRCC). Protein-protein interaction (PPI) network identified critical gene. Gene set enrichment analysis (GSEA) and gene set variation analysis (GSVA) performed to explore the potential biologic pathways.
    Results: Our study revealed a significant gene expression heterogeneity between pRCC and mRCC. A PPI network based on differentially expressed genes (DEGs) identified electron transport chain (ETC), especially mitochondrial CI, as the key network hub. Further analysis revealed that the role of mitochondrial CI is associated with tumor metastasis and immune responds of ccRCC. Although CI had low frequency mutations in ccRCC, CI expression is associated with the high frequency mutated genes. A prognosis model included 7 CI genes, and these had a significant effect on overall survival (OS). The area under the curve at 1, 3, and 5 years was 0.717, 0.685, and 0.728, respectively. Transcription factor analysis predicted that PPARG possibly is a potential transcription activator of CI genes in ccRCC.
    Conclusions: Overall, we found that CI expression is associated with ccRCC progress. CI and PPARG may be potential biomarkers for metastatic ccRCC.
    Keywords:  Bioinformatics; clear cell renal cell carcinoma (ccRCC); mitochondrial complex I (mitochondrial CI); single cell analysis; tumor heterogeneity
  30. Nat Commun. 2022 Jul 11. 13(1): 4007
      Metabolites in the tumor microenvironment are a critical factor for tumor progression. However, the lack of knowledge about the metabolic profile in the bone marrow (BM) microenvironment of multiple myeloma (MM) limits our understanding of MM progression. Here, we show that the glycine concentration in the BM microenvironment is elevated due to bone collagen degradation mediated by MM cell-secreted matrix metallopeptidase 13 (MMP13), while the elevated glycine level is linked to MM progression. MM cells utilize the channel protein solute carrier family 6 member 9 (SLC6A9) to absorb extrinsic glycine subsequently involved in the synthesis of glutathione (GSH) and purines. Inhibiting glycine utilization via SLC6A9 knockdown or the treatment with betaine suppresses MM cell proliferation and enhances the effects of bortezomib on MM cells. Together, we identify glycine as a key metabolic regulator of MM, unveil molecular mechanisms governing MM progression, and provide a promising therapeutic strategy for MM treatment.
  31. Biochemistry. 2022 Jul 12.
      NADP+-dependent malic enzyme 1 (ME1) decarboxylates malate to form pyruvate and NADPH in the cytoplasm, where it mediates diverse biological functions related to the generation of lipids and other cellular building blocks. As such, ME1 has been implicated in the progression of cancers and has received attention as a promising drug target. Here we report the identification of a novel small-molecule inhibitor of ME1, designated AS1134900. AS1134900 is highly selective for ME1 compared with ME2 and uncompetitively inhibits ME1 activity in the presence of its substrates NADP+ and malate. In addition, X-ray crystal structure analysis of the enzyme-inhibitor complex revealed that AS1134900 binds outside the ME1 active site in a novel allosteric site. Structural comparison of the ME1 quaternary complex with AS1134900, NADPH, and Mn2+, alongside known crystal structures of malic enzymes, indicated the determined crystal ME1-inhibitor complex is in the open form conformation. These results provide insights and a starting point for further discovery of drugs that inhibit ME1 activity in cancer cells.
  32. Immunity. 2022 Jul 07. pii: S1074-7613(22)00280-1. [Epub ahead of print]
      Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) escaping stressed mitochondria provokes inflammation via cGAS-STING pathway activation and, when oxidized (Ox-mtDNA), it binds cytosolic NLRP3, thereby triggering inflammasome activation. However, it is unknown how and in which form Ox-mtDNA exits stressed mitochondria in non-apoptotic macrophages. We found that diverse NLRP3 inflammasome activators rapidly stimulated uniporter-mediated calcium uptake to open mitochondrial permeability transition pores (mPTP) and trigger VDAC oligomerization. This occurred independently of mtDNA or reactive oxygen species, which induce Ox-mtDNA generation. Within mitochondria, Ox-mtDNA was either repaired by DNA glycosylase OGG1 or cleaved by the endonuclease FEN1 to 500-650 bp fragments that exited mitochondria via mPTP- and VDAC-dependent channels to initiate cytosolic NLRP3 inflammasome activation. Ox-mtDNA fragments also activated cGAS-STING signaling and gave rise to pro-inflammatory extracellular DNA. Understanding this process will advance the development of potential treatments for chronic inflammatory diseases, exemplified by FEN1 inhibitors that suppressed interleukin-1β (IL-1β) production and mtDNA release in mice.
    Keywords:  FEN1; NLRP3 inflammasome; OGG1; Ox-mtDNA; VDAC; cGAS-STING; mPTP; mitochondria; mtDNA
  33. Gut Microbes. 2022 Jan-Dec;14(1):14(1): 2096328
      Obesity causes chronic inflammation and changes in gut microbiome. However, how this contributes to poor survival and therapy resistance in patients with pancreatic cancer remain undetermined. Our current study shows that high fat diet-fed obese pancreatic tumor bearing mice do not respond to standard of care therapy with gemcitabine and paclitaxel when compared to corresponding control diet-fed mice. C57BL6 mice were put on control and high fat diet for 1 month following with pancreatic tumors were implanted in both groups. Microbiome of lean (control) and obese (high fat diet fed) mice was analyzed. Fecal matter transplant from control mice to obese mice sensitized tumors to chemotherapy and demonstrated extensive cell death. Analysis of gut microbiome showed an enrichment of queuosine (Q) producing bacteria in obese mice and an enrichment of S-adenosyl methionine (SAM) producing bacteria in control diet-fed mice. Further, supplementation of obese animals with SAM sensitized pancreatic tumors to chemotherapy. Treatment of pancreatic cancer cells with Q increased PRDX1 involved in oxidative stress protection. In parallel, tumors in obese mice showed increase in CD133+ treatment refractory tumor populations compared to control animals. These observations indicated that microbial metabolite Q accumulation in high fat diet-fed mice protected tumors from chemotherapy induced oxidative stress by upregulating PRDX1. This protection could be reversed by treatment with SAM. We conclude that relative concentration of SAM and queuosine in fecal samples of pancreatic cancer patients can be developed as a potential biomarker and therapeutic target in chemotherapy refractory pancreatic cancer.
    Keywords:  Pancreatic cancer; chemoresistance; gut microbiome; obesity; queuosine S-adenosyl methionine
  34. Mitochondrion. 2022 Jul 08. pii: S1567-7249(22)00056-3. [Epub ahead of print]
      Mitochondrial dysfunction is a major hallmark of aging. Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) mutations (inherited or acquired) may cause a malfunction of the respiratory chain (RC), and thus negatively affect cell metabolism and function. In contrast, certain mtDNA single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) may be beneficial to mitochondrial electron transport chain function and the extension of cellular health as well as lifespan. The goal of the MitoAging project is to detect key physiological characteristics and mechanisms that improve mitochondrial function and use them to develop therapies to increase longevity and a healthy lifespan. We chose to perform a systematic literature review (SLR) as a tool to collect key mtDNA SNPs associated with an increase in lifespan. Then validated our results by comparing them to the MitoMap database. Next, we assessed the effect of relevant SNPs on protein stability. A total of 28 SNPs were found in protein coding regions. These SNPs were reported in Japan, China, Turkey, and India. Among the studied SNPs, the C5178A mutation in the ND2 gene of Complex I of the RC was detected in all the reviewed reports except in Uygur Chinese centenarians. Then, we found that G9055A (ATP6 gene) and A10398G (ND3 gene) polymorphisms have been associated with a protective effect against Parkinson's disease (PD). Additionally, C8414T in ATP8 was significantly associated with longevity in three Japanese reports. Interestingly, using MitoMap we found that G9055A (ATP6 gene) was the only SNP promoting longevity not associated with any pathology. The identification of SNPs associated with an increase in lifespan opens the possibility to better understand individual differences regarding a decrease in illness susceptibility and find strategies that contribute to healthy aging.
    Keywords:  Mitochondria; SNP; aging; longevity; mitochondrial DNA; mitochondrial protein
  35. Psychoneuroendocrinology. 2022 Jun 30. pii: S0306-4530(22)00193-7. [Epub ahead of print]143 105852
      Mitochondria contain their own genome that can be released in multiple biofluids such as blood and cerebrospinal fluid, as cell-free mitochondrial DNA (cf-mtDNA). In clinical studies, blood cf-mtDNA predicts mortality and higher cf-mtDNA levels are associated with mental and physical stress. However, the dynamics of cf-mtDNA has not been defined, and whether it can be measured non-invasively like other neuroendocrine markers in saliva has not been examined. Here we report cf-mtDNA in human saliva and establish its natural within-person dynamic behavior across multiple weeks. In a small proof-of-principle cohort of healthy adults, we first develop an approach to rapidly quantify salivary cf-mtDNA without DNA isolation, and demonstrate the existence of salivary cf-mtDNA. We then deploy this approach to perform an intensive repeated-measures analysis of two healthy men studied at 4 daily timepoints over 53-60 consecutive days (n = 212-220 observations each) with parallel measures of steroid hormones, self-reported daily mood, and health-related behaviors. Salivary cf-mtDNA exhibited a robust awakening response reaching up to two orders of magnitude 30-45 min after awakening, varied from day-to-day, and moderately correlated with the cortisol awakening response. In exploratory analyses, no consistent association with self-reported daily mood/health-related behaviors were found, although this requires further examination in future studies. Dynamic variation in cf-mtDNA was inversely related with salivary interleukin 6 (IL-6), inconsistent with a pro-inflammatory effect of salivary cf-mtDNA. The highly dynamic behavior of salivary cf-mtDNA opens the door to non-invasive studies examining the relevance of mtDNA signaling in relation to human health.
    Keywords:  Awakening response; Cell-free mitochondrial DNA; Saliva; Steroid hormones
  36. Nat Commun. 2022 Jul 13. 13(1): 4043
      Co-fractionation/mass spectrometry (CF/MS) enables the mapping of endogenous macromolecular networks on a proteome scale, but current methods are experimentally laborious, resource intensive and afford lesser quantitative accuracy. Here, we present a technically efficient, cost-effective and reproducible multiplex CF/MS (mCF/MS) platform for measuring and comparing, simultaneously, multi-protein assemblies across different experimental samples at a rate that is up to an order of magnitude faster than previous approaches. We apply mCF/MS to map the protein interaction landscape of non-transformed mammary epithelia versus breast cancer cells in parallel, revealing large-scale differences in protein-protein interactions and the relative abundance of associated macromolecules connected with cancer-related pathways and altered cellular processes. The integration of multiplexing capability within an optimized workflow renders mCF/MS as a powerful tool for systematically exploring physical interaction networks in a comparative manner.
  37. Methods Mol Biol. 2022 ;2511 321-332
      Inflammatory diseases caused by infectious agents such as the SARS-CoV-2 virus can lead to impaired reductive-oxidative (REDOX) balance and disrupted mitochondrial function. Peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) provide a useful model for studying the effects of inflammatory diseases on mitochondrial function but can be limited by the need to store these cells by cryopreservation prior to assay. Here, we describe a method for improving and determining PBMC viability with normalization of values to number of living cells. The approach can be applied not only to PBMC samples derived from patients with diseases marked by an altered inflammatory response such as viral infections.
    Keywords:  COVID-19; Cryopreservation; Inflammatory disease; Mitochondrial respiration; PBMCs; SARS-CoV-2