bims-mibica Biomed News
on Mitochondrial bioenergetics in cancer
Issue of 2022‒10‒16
27 papers selected by
Kelsey Fisher-Wellman
East Carolina University

  1. Cancers (Basel). 2022 Oct 07. pii: 4918. [Epub ahead of print]14(19):
      At diagnosis, about 35% of pancreatic cancers are at the locally invasive yet premetastatic stage. Surgical resection is not a treatment option, leaving patients with a largely incurable disease that often evolves to the polymetastatic stage despite chemotherapeutic interventions. In this preclinical study, we hypothesized that pancreatic cancer metastasis can be prevented by inhibiting mitochondrial redox signaling with MitoQ, a mitochondria-targeted antioxidant. Using four different cancer cell lines, we report that, at clinically relevant concentrations (100-500 nM), MitoQ selectively repressed mesenchymal pancreatic cancer cell respiration, which involved the inhibition of the expression of PGC-1α, NRF1 and a reduced expression of electron-transfer-chain complexes I to III. MitoQ consequently decreased the mitochondrial membrane potential and mitochondrial superoxide production by these cells. Phenotypically, MitoQ further inhibited pancreatic cancer cell migration, invasion, clonogenicity and the expression of stem cell markers. It reduced by ~50% the metastatic homing of human MIA PaCa-2 cells in the lungs of mice. We further show that combination treatments with chemotherapy are conceivable. Collectively, this study indicates that the inhibition of mitochondrial redox signaling is a possible therapeutic option to inhibit the metastatic progression of pancreatic cancer.
    Keywords:  MitoQ; cancer metabolism; cancer metastasis; mitochondria; pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC); reactive oxygen species (ROS); redox signaling
  2. FEBS Lett. 2022 Oct 11.
      The compartmentation and distribution of metabolites between mitochondria and the rest of the cell is a key parameter of cell signalling and pathology. Here, we have developed a rapid fractionation procedure that enables us to take mouse heart and liver from in vivo and within ~ 30 seconds stabilise the distribution of metabolites between mitochondria and the cytosol by rapid cooling, homogenisation and dilution. This is followed by centrifugation of mitochondria through an oil layer to separate mitochondrial and cytosolic fractions for subsequent metabolic analysis. Using this procedure revealed the in vivo compartmentation of mitochondrial metabolites and will enable assessment of the distribution of metabolites between the cytosol and mitochondria during a range of situations in vivo.
    Keywords:  compartmentation; in vivo; ischemia; metabolites; mitochondria; rapid fractionation
  3. Front Cell Dev Biol. 2022 ;10 893677
      Metabolic reprogramming is a hallmark of cancer. Somatic mutations in genes involved in oncogenic signaling pathways, including KRAS and TP53, rewire the metabolic machinery in cancer cells. We here set out to determine, at the single cell level, metabolic signatures in human colon cancer cells engineered to express combinations of activating KRAS gene mutations and TP53 gene deletions. Specifically, we explored how somatic mutations in these genes and substrate availability (lactate, glucose, substrate deprivation) from the extracellular microenvironment affect bioenergetic parameters, including cellular ATP, NADH and mitochondrial membrane potential dynamics. Employing cytosolic and mitochondrial FRET-based ATP probes, fluorescent NADH sensors, and the membrane-permeant cationic fluorescent probe TMRM in HCT-116 cells as a model system, we observed that TP53 deletion and KRAS mutations drive a shift in metabolic signatures enabling lactate to become an efficient metabolite to replenish both ATP and NADH following nutrient deprivation. Intriguingly, cytosolic, mitochondrial and overall cellular ATP measurements revealed that, in WT KRAS cells, TP53 deficiency leads to an enhanced ATP production in the presence of extracellular lactate and glucose, and to the greatest increase in ATP following a starvation period. On the other hand, oncogenic KRAS in TP53-deficient cells reversed the alterations in cellular ATP levels. Moreover, cell population measurements of mitochondrial and glycolytic metabolism using a Seahorse analyzer demonstrated that WT KRAS TP53-silenced cells display an increase of the basal respiration and tightly-coupled mitochondria, in the presence of glucose as substrate, compared to TP53 competent cells. Furthermore, cells possessing oncogenic KRAS, independently of TP53 status, showed less pronounced mitochondrial membrane potential changes in response to metabolic nutrients. Furthermore, analysis of cytosolic and mitochondrial NADH levels revealed that the simultaneous presence of TP53 deletion and oncogenic KRAS showed the most pronounced alteration in cytosolic and mitochondrial NADH during metabolic stress. In conclusion, our findings demonstrate how activating KRAS mutation and loss of TP53 remodel cancer metabolism and lead to alterations in bioenergetics under metabolic stress conditions by modulating cellular ATP production, NADH oxidation, mitochondrial respiration and function.
    Keywords:  Cancer Metabolism; OxPhos; bioenergetics; colorectal cancer; metabolic stress
  4. Int J Cancer. 2022 Oct 10.
      Cervical cancer remains a major threat to women's health, especially in countries with limited medical resources, and new drugs are needed to improve patient survival and minimize adverse effects. Here, we examine the effects of a triphenylphosphonium (TPP)-conjugated pyrrole-imidazole polyamide (CCC-h1005) targeting the common homoplasmic mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) cancer risk variant (ATP6 8860A>G) on the survival of cervical cancer cell lines, cisplatin-resistant HeLa cells and patient-derived cervical clear cell carcinoma cells as models of cervical cancer treatment. We found that CCC-h1005 induced death in these cells and suppressed the growth of xenografted HeLa tumors with no severe adverse effects. These results suggest that PIP-TPP designed to target mtDNA cancer risk variants can be used to treat many cervical cancers harboring high copies of the target variant, providing a foundation for clinical trials of this class of molecules for treating cervical cancer and other types of cancers. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
    Keywords:  PI polyamide; SNP; apoptosis; cervical cancer; mitochondrial DNA
  5. Nat Commun. 2022 Oct 11. 13(1): 5989
      Mitochondrial ATP synthase forms stable dimers arranged into oligomeric assemblies that generate the inner-membrane curvature essential for efficient energy conversion. Here, we report cryo-EM structures of the intact ATP synthase dimer from Trypanosoma brucei in ten different rotational states. The model consists of 25 subunits, including nine lineage-specific, as well as 36 lipids. The rotary mechanism is influenced by the divergent peripheral stalk, conferring a greater conformational flexibility. Proton transfer in the lumenal half-channel occurs via a chain of five ordered water molecules. The dimerization interface is formed by subunit-g that is critical for interactions but not for the catalytic activity. Although overall dimer architecture varies among eukaryotes, we find that subunit-g together with subunit-e form an ancestral oligomerization motif, which is shared between the trypanosomal and mammalian lineages. Therefore, our data defines the subunit-g/e module as a structural component determining ATP synthase oligomeric assemblies.
  6. J Biol Chem. 2022 Oct 06. pii: S0021-9258(22)01018-3. [Epub ahead of print] 102574
      Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) is present in multiple copies and phenotypic consequences of mtDNA mutations depend on the mutant load surpassing a specific threshold. Additionally, changes in mtDNA copy number can impact mitochondrial ATP production, resulting in disease. Therefore, the precise determination of mtDNA heteroplasmy and copy number is crucial to the study of mitochondrial diseases. However, current methods can be imprecise, and quantifying small changes in either heteroplasmy or copy number is challenging. We developed a new approach to measure mtDNA heteroplasmy using a single digital PCR (dPCR) probe. This method is based on the observation that fluorescent-labeled probes in dPCR exhibit different intensities depending on the presence of a single nucleotide change in the sequence bound by the probe. This finding allowed us to precisely and simultaneously determine mtDNA copy number and heteroplasmy levels using duplex dPCR. We tested this approach in two different models (human and mouse), which proved faster and more internally controlled when compared to other published methods routinely used in the mitochondrial genetics field. We believe this approach could be broadly applicable to the detection and quantification of other mixed genetic variations.
  7. Leukemia. 2022 Oct 11.
      The FLT3-ITD mutation is associated with poor prognosis in acute myeloid leukemia (AML). FLT3 tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) demonstrate clinical efficacy but fail to target leukemia stem cells (LSC) and do not generate sustained responses. Autophagy is an important cellular stress response contributing to hematopoietic stem cells (HSC) maintenance and promoting leukemia development. Here we investigated the role of autophagy in regulating FLT3-ITD AML stem cell function and response to TKI treatment. We show that autophagy inhibition reduced quiescence and depleted repopulating potential of FLT3-ITD AML LSC, associated with mitochondrial accumulation and increased oxidative phosphorylation. However, TKI treatment reduced mitochondrial respiration and unexpectedly antagonized the effects of autophagy inhibition on LSC attrition. We further show that TKI-mediated targeting of AML LSC and committed progenitors was p53-dependent, and that autophagy inhibition enhanced p53 activity and increased TKI-mediated targeting of AML progenitors, but decreased p53 activity in LSC and reduced TKI-mediated LSC inhibition. These results provide new insights into the role of autophagy in differentially regulating AML stem and progenitor cells, reveal unexpected antagonistic effects of combined oncogenic tyrosine kinase inhibition and autophagy inhibition in AML LSC, and suggest an alternative approach to target AML LSC quiescence and regenerative potential.
  8. N Engl J Med. 2022 Oct 13. 387(15): 1395-1403
      We describe the case of identical twin boys who presented with low body weight despite excessive caloric intake. An evaluation of their fibroblasts showed elevated oxygen consumption and decreased mitochondrial membrane potential. Exome analysis revealed a de novo heterozygous variant in ATP5F1B, which encodes the β subunit of mitochondrial ATP synthase (also called complex V). In yeast, mutations affecting the same region loosen coupling between the proton motive force and ATP synthesis, resulting in high rates of mitochondrial respiration. Expression of the mutant allele in human cell lines recapitulates this phenotype. These data support an autosomal dominant mitochondrial uncoupling syndrome with hypermetabolism. (Funded by the National Institutes of Health.).
  9. FEBS Open Bio. 2022 Oct 10.
      Transmembrane protein 160 (TMEM160) was recently reported to be localized to the mitochondrial inner membrane, but mitochondrial function was noted to be unaffected by loss of TMEM160. In contrast to these previously published findings, we report here that the absence of TMEM160 influences intracellular responses. After confirming that TMEM160 is localized in the inner mitochondrial membrane, we knocked down TMEM160 in human cultured cells and analyzed the changes in cellular responses. TMEM160 depletion led to an upregulation of the mitochondrial chaperone HSPD1, suggesting that depletion induced the mitochondrial unfolded protein response (UPRmt ). Indeed, the expression of key transcription factors that induce the UPRmt (ATF4, ATF5, and DDIT3) was increased following TMEM160 depletion. Expression of the mitochondrial protein import-receptors TOMM22 and TOMM20 was also enhanced. In addition, we observed a significant increase in reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation following TMEM160 depletion. Glutathione S-transferases, which detoxify the products of oxidative stress, were also upregulated in TMEM160-depleted cells. Immunoblot analysis was performed to detect proteins modified by 4-hydroxynonenal (which is released after the peroxidation of lipids by ROS): the expression patterns of 4-hydroxynonenal-modified proteins were altered after TMEM160 depletion, suggesting that depletion enhanced degadation of these proteins. HSPD1, TOMM22, ATF4, ATF5, and DDIT3 remained upregulated after ROS was scavenged by N-acetylcysteine, suggesting that once the UPRmt is induced by TMEM160 depletion, it is not suppresed by the subsequent detoxification of ROS. These findings suggest that TMEM160 may suppress ROS generation and stabilize mitochondrial protein(s).
    Keywords:  TMEM160; mitochondria; mitochondrial unfolded protein response; oxidative stress; reactive oxygen species
  10. Nat Commun. 2022 Oct 13. 13(1): 6061
      Overexposure to manganese disrupts cellular energy metabolism across species, but the molecular mechanism underlying manganese toxicity remains enigmatic. Here, we report that excess cellular manganese selectively disrupts coenzyme Q (CoQ) biosynthesis, resulting in failure of mitochondrial bioenergetics. While respiratory chain complexes remain intact, the lack of CoQ as lipophilic electron carrier precludes oxidative phosphorylation and leads to premature cell and organismal death. At a molecular level, manganese overload causes mismetallation and proteolytic degradation of Coq7, a diiron hydroxylase that catalyzes the penultimate step in CoQ biosynthesis. Coq7 overexpression or supplementation with a CoQ headgroup analog that bypasses Coq7 function fully corrects electron transport, thus restoring respiration and viability. We uncover a unique sensitivity of a diiron enzyme to mismetallation and define the molecular mechanism for manganese-induced bioenergetic failure that is conserved across species.
  11. Cancer Res. 2022 Oct 10. pii: CAN-21-4369. [Epub ahead of print]
      Obesity induces numerous physiological changes that can impact cancer risk and patient response to therapy. Obese patients with cervical cancer have been reported to have superior outcomes following chemoradiation, suggesting that free fatty acids (FFAs) might enhance response to radiation. Here, using preclinical models, we show that mono- and diunsaturated FFAs (uPPAs) radiosensitize cervical cancer through a novel p53-dependent mechanism. UFFAs signaled through PPARγ and p53 to promote lipid uptake, storage, and metabolism after radiation. Stable isotope labeling confirmed that cervical cancer cells increase both catabolic and anabolic oleate metabolism in response to radiation, with associated increases in dependence on mitochondrial fatty acid oxidation for survival. In vivo, supplementation with exogenous oleate suppressed tumor growth in xenografts after radiation, an effect which could be partially mimicked in tumors from high fat diet-induced obese mice. These results suggest that supplementation with uFFAs may improve tumor responses to radiation therapy, particularly in p53 wild type tumors.
  12. Cell Death Discov. 2022 Oct 08. 8(1): 414
      In ferroptosis, the roles of mitochondria have been controversial. To explore the role of mitochondrial events in ferroptosis, we employed mitochondrial DNA-depleted ρ0 cells that are resistant to cell death due to enhanced expression of antioxidant enzymes. Expression of mitochondrial-type GPx4 (mGPx4) but no other forms of GPx4 was increased in SK-Hep1 ρ0 cells. Likely due to high mGPx4 expression, SK-Hep1 ρ0 cells were resistant to ferroptosis by erastin inhibiting xCT channel. In contrast, SK-Hep1 ρ0 cells were susceptible to cell death by a high concentration of RSL3 imposing ferroptosis by GPx4 inhibition. Accumulation of cellular ROS and oxidized lipids was observed in erastin- or RSL3-treated SK-Hep1 ρ+ cells but not in erastin-treated SK-Hep1 ρ0 cells. Mitochondrial ROS and mitochondrial peroxidized lipids accumulated in SK-Hep1 ρ+ cells not only by RSL3 but also by erastin acting on xCT on the plasma membrane. Mitochondrial ROS quenching inhibited SK-Hep1 ρ+ cell death by erastin or a high dose of RSL3, suggesting a critical role of mitochondrial ROS in ferroptosis. Ferroptosis by erastin or RSL3 was inhibited by a more than 20-fold lower concentration of MitoQ, a mitochondrial ROS quencher, compared to DecylQ, a non-targeting counterpart. Ferroptosis of SK-Hep1 ρ+ cells by erastin or RSL3 was markedly inhibited by a VDAC inhibitor, accompanied by significantly reduced accumulation of mitochondria ROS, total peroxidized lipids, and mitochondrial peroxidized lipids, strongly supporting the role of mitochondrial events in ferroptotic death and that of VDAC in mitochondrial steps of ferroptosis induced by erastin or RSL3. SK-Hep1 ρ+ cell ferroptosis by sorafenib was also suppressed by mitochondrial ROS quenchers, accompanied by abrogation of sorafenib-induced mitochondrial ROS and mitochondrial peroxidized lipid accumulation. These results suggest that SK-Hep1 ρ0 cells are resistant to ferroptosis due to upregulation of mGPx4 expression and mitochondrial events could be the ultimate step in determining final cell fate.
  13. Int J Mol Sci. 2022 Oct 03. pii: 11721. [Epub ahead of print]23(19):
      Oncogenic K-ras is often activated in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) due to frequent mutation (>90%), which drives multiple cellular processes, including alterations in lipid metabolism associated with a malignant phenotype. However, the role and mechanism of the altered lipid metabolism in K-ras-driven cancer remains poorly understood. In this study, using human pancreatic epithelial cells harboring inducible K-rasG12D (HPNE/K-rasG12D) and pancreatic cancer cell lines, we found that the expression of phospholipase A2 group IIA (PLA2G2A) was upregulated by oncogenic K-ras. The elevated expression of PLA2G2A was also observed in pancreatic cancer tissues and was correlated with poor survival of PDAC patients. Abrogation of PLA2G2A by siRNA or by pharmacological inhibition using tanshinone I significantly increased lipid peroxidation, reduced fatty acid synthase (FASN) expression, and impaired mitochondrial function manifested by a decrease in mitochondrial transmembrane potential and a reduction in ATP production, leading to the inhibition of cancer cell proliferation. Our study suggests that high expression of PLA2G2A induced by oncogenic K-ras promotes cancer cell survival, likely by reducing lipid peroxidation through its ability to facilitate the removal of polyunsaturated fatty acids from lipid membranes by enhancing the de novo fatty acid synthesis and energy metabolism to support cancer cell proliferation. As such, PLA2G2A might function as a downstream mediator of K-ras and could be a potential therapeutic target.
    Keywords:  K-ras; PLA2G2A; fatty acid synthesis; lipid metabolism; mitochondria; pancreatic cancer; phospholipase; tanshinone I
  14. Nucleic Acids Res. 2022 Oct 10. pii: gkac857. [Epub ahead of print]
      Genetic processes require the activity of multiple topoisomerases, essential enzymes that remove topological tension and intermolecular linkages in DNA. We have investigated the subcellular localisation and activity of the six human topoisomerases with a view to understanding the topological maintenance of human mitochondrial DNA. Our results indicate that mitochondria contain two topoisomerases, TOP1MT and TOP3A. Using molecular, genomic and biochemical methods we find that both proteins contribute to mtDNA replication, in addition to the decatenation role of TOP3A, and that TOP1MT is stimulated by mtSSB. Loss of TOP3A or TOP1MT also dysregulates mitochondrial gene expression, and both proteins promote transcription elongation in vitro. We find no evidence for TOP2 localisation to mitochondria, and TOP2B knockout does not affect mtDNA maintenance or expression. Our results suggest a division of labour between TOP3A and TOP1MT in mtDNA topology control that is required for the proper maintenance and expression of human mtDNA.
  15. Nat Commun. 2022 Oct 13. 13(1): 6058
      Sustained muscle contraction occurs through interactions between actin and myosin filaments within sarcomeres and requires a constant supply of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) from nearby mitochondria. However, it remains unclear how different physical configurations between sarcomeres and mitochondria alter the energetic support for contractile function. Here, we show that sarcomere cross-sectional area (CSA) varies along its length in a cell type-dependent manner where the reduction in Z-disk CSA relative to the sarcomere center is closely coordinated with mitochondrial network configuration in flies, mice, and humans. Further, we find myosin filaments near the sarcomere periphery are curved relative to interior filaments with greater curvature for filaments near mitochondria compared to sarcoplasmic reticulum. Finally, we demonstrate variable myosin filament lattice spacing between filament ends and filament centers in a cell type-dependent manner. These data suggest both sarcomere structure and myofilament interactions are influenced by the location and orientation of mitochondria within muscle cells.
  16. Biochem Pharmacol. 2022 Oct 05. pii: S0006-2952(22)00377-X. [Epub ahead of print]205 115283
      Despite the recently approved new therapies, the clinical outcomes of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) patients remain disappointing, highlighting the need for novel therapies. Our lab has previously demonstrated the promising outlook for CUDC-907, a dual inhibitor of PI3K and HDAC, in combination with venetoclax (VEN), against AML both in vitro and in vivo at least partially through suppression of c-Myc. In this study, we further elucidated the mechanism of action of the combination in preclinical models of AML. We demonstrated that the combination significantly reduced primary AML cell engraftment in immunocompromised mice. RNA sequencing and metabolomics analyses revealed that the combination reduced the levels for mRNAs of key TCA cycle genes and metabolites in the TCA cycle, respectively. This was accompanied by a reduced oxygen consumption rate (OCR), demonstrating that the combination suppressed oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS). Metabolomics analyses revealed that a large number of metabolites upregulated in AraC-resistant AML cells could be downregulated by the combination. CUDC-907 synergized with VEN in inducing apoptosis in the AraC-resistant AML cells. In conclusion, the CUDC-907 and VEN combination induces metabolic and transcriptomic reprograming and suppression of OXPHOS in AML, which provides additional mechanisms underlying the synergy between the two agents.
    Keywords:  Acute myeloid leukemia; CUDC-907; Cytarabine (AraC) resistance; Oxidative phosphorylation; Venetoclax; c-Myc
  17. Cancer Invest. 2022 Oct 13. 1-13
      Ovarian cancer frequently metastasizes to the omentum, which is primarily comprised of adipocytes. Our previous study found that sucrose nonfermenting-related kinase (SNRK) expression is lower in advanced-stage compared to early-stage ovarian cancer tissue. In this study SNRK knockdown was performed in ovarian cancer cell lines using lentiviral transduction and resulted in decreased cell proliferation, increased invasion, and a switch in metabolism to increased fatty acid oxidation. Our data suggests that SNRK works as a metabolic checkpoint that allows for oxidative phosphorylation and prevents fatty acid oxidation during a time of rapid tumor growth.
    Keywords:  Metastasis; Ovarian cancer; SNRK; adipocytes and mitochondria; metabolism; omentum
  18. Sci Rep. 2022 Oct 11. 12(1): 17035
      Transporters of the inner mitochondrial membrane are essential to metabolism. We demonstrate that metabolism as represented by expression of genes encoding SLC25 transporters differentiates human cancers. Tumor to normal tissue expression ratios for clear cell renal cell carcinoma, colon adenocarcinoma, lung adenocarcinoma and breast invasive carcinoma were found to be highly significant. Affinity propagation trained on SLC25 gene expression patterns from 19 human cancer types (6825 TCGA samples) and normal tissues (2322 GTEx samples) was used to generate clusters. They differentiate cancers from normal tissues. They also indicate cancer subtypes with survivals distinct from the total patient population of the cancer type. Probing the kidney, colon, lung, and breast cancer clusters, subtype pairs of cancers were identified with distinct prognoses and differing in expression of protein coding genes from among 2080 metabolic enzymes assayed. We demonstrate that SLC25 expression clusters facilitate the identification of the tissue-of-origin, essential to efficacy of most cancer therapies, of CUPs (cancer-unknown-primary) known to have poor prognoses. Different cancer types within a single cluster have similar metabolic patterns and this raises the possibility that such cancers may respond similarly to existing and new anti-cancer therapies.
  19. FEBS J. 2022 Oct 14.
      Sarm1 is an evolutionary conserved innate immune adaptor protein that has emerged as a primary regulator of programmed axonal degeneration over the past decade. In vitro structural insights have revealed that although Sarm1 induces energy depletion by breaking down NAD+ , it is also allosterically inhibited by NAD+ . However, how NAD+ levels modulate the activation of intracellular Sarm1 has not been elucidated so far. This study focuses on understanding the events leading to Sarm1 activation in both neuronal and non-neuronal cells using the mitochondrial complex I inhibitor rotenone. Here we report the regulation of rotenone-induced cell death by loss of NAD+ that may act as a "biological trigger" of Sarm1 activation. Our study revealed that early loss of endogenous NAD+ levels arising due to PARP1 hyperactivation preceded Sarm1 induction following rotenone treatment. Interestingly, replenishing NAD+ levels by the PARP inhibitor, PJ34 restored mitochondrial complex I activity and also prevented subsequent Sarm1 activation in rotenone treated cells. These cellular data were further validated in Drosophila melanogaster where a significant reduction in rotenone mediated loss of locomotor abilities and reduced dSarm expression was observed in the flies following PARP inhibition. Taken together, these observations not only uncover a novel regulation of Sarm1 induction by endogenous NAD+ levels but also point towards an important understanding on how PARP inhibitors could be repurposed in the treatment of mitochondrial complex I deficiency disorders.
    Keywords:  Autophagy; Mitochondria; NAD+; PARP inhibitor; PJ34; Rotenone; Sarm1
  20. Cancers (Basel). 2022 Oct 05. pii: 4879. [Epub ahead of print]14(19):
      BACKGROUND: Previous studies have shown that Peroxisome Proliferator-Activated Receptor Gamma, Coactivator 1 Beta (PGC-1β) and Estrogen-Related Receptor Alpha (ERRα) are over-expressed in colorectal cancer and promote tumor survival.METHODS: In this study, we use immunoprecipitation of epitope tagged endogenous PGC-1β and inducible PGC-1β mutants to show that amino acid motif LRELL on PGC-1β is responsible for the physical interaction with ERRα and promotes ERRα mRNA and protein expression. We use RNAsequencing to determine the genes regulated by both PGC-1β & ERRα and find that mitochondrial Phosphoenolpyruvate Carboxykinase 2 (PCK2) is the gene that decreased most significantly after depletion of both genes.
    RESULTS: Depletion of PCK2 in colorectal cancer cells was sufficient to reduce anchorage-independent growth and inhibit glutamine utilization by the TCA cycle. Lastly, shRNA-mediated depletion of ERRα decreased anchorage-independent growth and glutamine metabolism, which could not be rescued by plasmid derived expression of PCK2.
    DISCUSSION: These findings suggest that transcriptional control of PCK2 is one mechanism used by PGC-1β and ERRα to promote glutamine metabolism and colorectal cancer cell survival.
    Keywords:  ERRα; K-Ras; PCK2; PGC-1β; colorectal cancer; metabolism; precision medicine
  21. Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2022 Sep 29. pii: S0006-291X(22)01340-7. [Epub ahead of print]632 173-180
      The presence of circulating cancer cells in the bloodstream is positively correlated with metastasis. We hypothesize that fluid shear stress (FSS) occurring during circulation alters mitochondrial function, enhancing metastatic behaviors of cancer cells. MCF7 and MDA-MB-231 human breast cancer cells subjected to FSS exponentially increased proliferation. Notably, FSS-treated cells consumed more oxygen but were resistant to uncoupler-mediated ATP loss. We found that exposure to FSS downregulated the F1FO ATP synthase c-subunit and overexpression of the c-subunit arrested cancer cell migration. Approaches that regulate c-subunit abundance may reduce the likelihood of breast cancer metastasis.
    Keywords:  Breast cancer; F(1)F(O) ATP synthase; Fluid shear stress; Mitochondria
  22. Stem Cells. 2022 Oct 11. pii: sxac072. [Epub ahead of print]
      Mitochondria are indispensable in maintaining hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs), and mitochondrial complex II (MCII) has been recognized as a key component of HSCs. However, the physiological role of MCII on long-term hematopoiesis and hematopoietic reconstitution capacity remains unknown. Hence, this study evaluated the impact of MCII dysfunctions on long-term HSC maintenance and hematopoietic homeostasis among conditional transgenic mice with a missense mutation in the succinate dehydrogenase complex subunit C gene (SdhcV69E). HSCs collected from SdhcV69E mice had a higher reactive oxygen species (ROS) accumulation and DNA damage in response to mitochondrial activation. Via the aging stress response, MCII dysfunctions caused decreased white blood cell count with myeloid-skewing property, macrocytic anemia, and thrombocytosis. Moreover, the HSCs of aged SdhcV69E mice exhibited greater ROS accumulation and lower membrane potential. Transplantation-induced replicative stress also caused premature senescent hematopoiesis. Furthermore, accelerated ROS accumulation and profound DNA damage in HSCs were observed in the SdhcV69E-derived cell recipients. The long-term hematopoietic reconstitution capacity was remarkably impaired in HSCs from the SdhcV69E-derived cell recipients. Taken together, MCII plays an essential role in long-term hematopoiesis, and MCII dysfunctions with aging or replicative stresses caused excessive ROS accumulation and DNA damage in HSCs, leading to premature senescence.
    Keywords:  complex II; electron transport chain; hematopoietic stem cell; mitochondria; succinate dehydrogenase complex subunit C
  23. PLoS One. 2022 ;17(10): e0273520
      Changes in metabolism are a hallmark of cancer, but molecular signatures of altered bioenergetics to aid in clinical decision-making do not currently exist. We recently identified a group of human tumors with constitutively reduced expression of the mitochondrial structural protein, Mic60, also called mitofilin or inner membrane mitochondrial protein (IMMT). These Mic60-low tumors exhibit severe loss of mitochondrial fitness, paradoxically accompanied by increased metastatic propensity and upregulation of a unique transcriptome of Interferon (IFN) signaling and Senescence-Associated Secretory Phenotype (SASP). Here, we show that an optimized, 11-gene signature of Mic60-low tumors is differentially expressed in multiple malignancies, compared to normal tissues, and correlates with poor patient outcome. When analyzed in three independent patient cohorts of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC), the Mic60-low gene signature was associated with aggressive disease variants, local inflammation, FOLFIRINOX failure and shortened survival, independently of age, gender, or stage. Therefore, the 11-gene Mic60-low signature may provide an easily accessible molecular tool to stratify patient risk in PDAC and potentially other malignancies.
  24. J Mol Cell Cardiol. 2022 Oct 06. pii: S0022-2828(22)00531-4. [Epub ahead of print]173 73-74
    Keywords:  Cyclophilin D; Cyclosporin A; Ischemia/reperfusion injury; Mitochondrial permeability transition pore; Reactive oxygen species; Succinate
  25. Nat Chem Biol. 2022 Oct 13.
      Membrane lipids control the cellular activity of kinases containing the Src homology 2 (SH2) domain through direct lipid-SH2 domain interactions. Here we report development of new nonlipidic small molecule inhibitors of the lipid-SH2 domain interaction that block the cellular activity of their host proteins. As a pilot study, we evaluated the efficacy of lipid-SH2 domain interaction inhibitors for spleen tyrosine kinase (Syk), which is implicated in hematopoietic malignancies, including acute myeloid leukemia (AML). An optimized inhibitor (WC36) specifically and potently suppressed oncogenic activities of Syk in AML cell lines and patient-derived AML cells. Unlike ATP-competitive Syk inhibitors, WC36 was refractory to de novo and acquired drug resistance due to its ability to block not only the Syk kinase activity, but also its noncatalytic scaffolding function that is linked to drug resistance. Collectively, our study shows that targeting lipid-protein interaction is a powerful approach to developing new small molecule drugs.
  26. Mol Cancer Res. 2022 Oct 10. pii: MCR-22-0163. [Epub ahead of print]
      The ability of a patient tumor to engraft an immunodeficient mouse is the strongest known independent indicator of poor prognosis in early-stage non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Analysis of primary NSCLC proteomes revealed low-level expression of mitochondrial aconitase (ACO2) in the more aggressive, engrafting tumours. Knockdown of ACO2 protein expression transformed immortalized lung epithelial cells, whereas up-regulation of ACO2 in transformed NSCLC cells inhibited cell proliferation in vitro and tumour growth in vivo. High level ACO2 increased iron response element binding protein 1 (IRP1) and the intracellular labile iron pool. Impaired cellular proliferation associated with high level ACO2 was reversed by treatment of cells with an iron chelator, whereas increased cell proliferation associated with low level ACO2 was suppressed by treatment of cells with iron. Expression of CDGSH iron-sulfur domain-containing protein 1 (CISD1; also known as mitoNEET) was modulated by ACO2 expression level and inhibition of mitoNEET by RNA interference or by treatment of cells with pioglitazone also increased iron and cell death. Hence, ACO2 is identified as a regulator of iron homeostasis and mitoNEET is implicated as a target in aggressive NSCLC. Implications: Iron-sulfur-cluster associated proteins including mitochondrial aconitase ACO2, mitoNEET (encoded by CISD1), and iron response element binding protein 1 (IRP1; encoded by ACO1) are part of an "ACO2-Iron Axis" that regulates iron homeostasis and is a determinant of a particularly aggressive subset of NSCLC.
  27. Cells. 2022 Oct 04. pii: 3123. [Epub ahead of print]11(19):
      Most conventional incubators used in cell culture do not regulate O2 levels, making the headspace O2 concentration ~18%. In contrast, most human tissues are exposed to 2-6% O2 (physioxia) in vivo. Accumulating evidence has shown that such hyperoxic conditions in standard cell culture practices affect a variety of biological processes. In this review, we discuss how supraphysiological O2 levels affect reactive oxygen species (ROS) metabolism and redox homeostasis, gene expression, replicative lifespan, cellular respiration, and mitochondrial dynamics. Furthermore, we present evidence demonstrating how hyperoxic cell culture conditions fail to recapitulate the physiological and pathological behavior of tissues in vivo, including cases of how O2 alters the cellular response to drugs, hormones, and toxicants. We conclude that maintaining physioxia in cell culture is imperative in order to better replicate in vivo-like tissue physiology and pathology, and to avoid artifacts in research involving cell culture.
    Keywords:  ROS; drug response; gene expression; hyperoxia; metabolism; mitochondrial dynamics; oxidative stress; oxygen; physioxia; senescence