bims-mibica Biomed News
on Mitochondrial bioenergetics in cancer
Issue of 2022‒11‒13
28 papers selected by
Kelsey Fisher-Wellman
East Carolina University

  1. Cancers (Basel). 2022 Nov 06. pii: 5454. [Epub ahead of print]14(21):
      Cancer cells may stimulate glycolytic flux when O2 becomes insufficient. Increase in L-lactate release therefore appears as an escape mechanism to drugs targeting mitochondrial respiration but also represents a response that may be exploited to screen for compounds blocking either mitochondrial carriers of oxidizable substrates or the electron transport chain. Here, we developed a screening procedure based on the capacity of cancer cells to release L-lactate to gain insights on the development of mitochondrial complex I inhibitors. For this purpose, we synthesized derivatives of carboxyamidotriazole, a compound previously described as a potential OXPHOS inhibitor. Two series of derivatives were generated by cycloaddition between benzylazide and either cyanoacetamides or alkynes. A primary assay measuring L-lactate release as a compensatory mechanism upon OXPHOS inhibition led us to identify 15 hits among 28 derivatives. A secondary assay measuring O2 consumption in permeabilized cancer cells confirmed that 12 compounds among the hits exhibited reversible complex I inhibitory activity. Anticancer effects of a short list of 5 compounds identified to induce more L-lactate release than reference compound were then evaluated on cancer cells and tumor-mimicking 3D spheroids. Human and mouse cancer cell monolayers exhibiting high level of respiration in basal conditions were up to 3-fold more sensitive than less oxidative cancer cells. 3D tumor spheroids further revealed potency differences between selected compounds in terms of cytotoxicity but also radiosensitizing activity resulting from local reoxygenation. In conclusion, this study documents the feasibility to efficiently screen in 96-well plate format for mitochondrial complex I inhibitors based on the capacity of drug candidates to induce L-lactate release.
    Keywords:  L-lactate; cancer; complex I; glycolysis; mitochondria; oxygen consumption rate; radiotherapy; reoxygenation; respiration; spheroid
  2. Antioxidants (Basel). 2022 Oct 27. pii: 2119. [Epub ahead of print]11(11):
      In spite of extensive successes, cancer recurrence after radiation treatment (RT) remains one of the significant challenges in the cure of localized prostate cancer (PCa). This study focuses on elucidating a novel adaptive response to RT that could contribute to cancer recurrence. Here, we used PC3 cell line, an adenocarcinoma from a bone metastasis and radio-resistant clone 695 cell line, which survived after total radiation dose of 66 Gy (2 Gy × 33) and subsequently regrew in nude mice after exposure to fractionated radiation at 10 Gy (2 Gy × 5). Clone 695 cells not only showed an increase in surviving fraction post-radiation but also an increase in hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) production when compared to PC3 cells. At the single cell level, confocal microscope images coupled with IMARIS rendering software demonstrate an increase in mitochondrial mass and membrane potential in clone 695 cells. Utilizing the Seahorse XF96 instrument to investigate mitochondrial respiration, clone 695 cells demonstrated a higher basal Oxygen Consumption Rate (OCR), ATP-linked OCR, and proton leak compared to PC3 cells. The elevation of mitochondrial function in clone 695 cells is accompanied by an increase in mitochondrial H2O2 production. These data suggest that H2O2 could reprogram PCa's mitochondrial homeostasis, which allows the cancer to survive and regrow after RT. Upon exposure to RT, in addition to ROS production, we found that RT induces the release of extracellular vesicles (EVs) from PC3 cells (p < 0.05). Importantly, adding H2O2 to PC3 cells promotes EVs production in a dose-dependent manner and pre-treatment with polyethylene glycol-Catalase mitigates H2O2-mediated EV production. Both RT-derived EVs and H2O2-derived EVs carried higher levels of mitochondrial antioxidant proteins including, Peroxiredoxin 3, Glutathione Peroxidase 4 as well as mitochondrial-associated oxidative phosphorylation proteins. Significantly, adding isolated functional mitochondria 24 h prior to RT shows a significant increase in surviving fractions of PC3 cells (p < 0.05). Together, our findings reveal that H2O2 promotes the production of EVs carrying mitochondrial proteins and that functional mitochondria enhance cancer survival after RT.
    Keywords:  extracellular vesicles; hydrogen peroxide; mitochondria; radiation resistance
  3. Sci Adv. 2022 Nov 11. 8(45): eabo7956
      Mitochondria are dynamic organelles that undergo membrane remodeling events in response to metabolic alterations to generate an adequate mitochondrial network. Here, we investigated the function of mitochondrial fission regulator 1-like protein (MTFR1L), an uncharacterized protein that has been identified in phosphoproteomic screens as a potential AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) substrate. We showed that MTFR1L is an outer mitochondrial membrane-localized protein modulating mitochondrial morphology. Loss of MTFR1L led to mitochondrial elongation associated with increased mitochondrial fusion events and levels of the mitochondrial fusion protein, optic atrophy 1. Mechanistically, we show that MTFR1L is phosphorylated by AMPK, which thereby controls the function of MTFR1L in regulating mitochondrial morphology both in mammalian cell lines and in murine cortical neurons in vivo. Furthermore, we demonstrate that MTFR1L is required for stress-induced AMPK-dependent mitochondrial fragmentation. Together, these findings identify MTFR1L as a critical mitochondrial protein transducing AMPK-dependent metabolic changes through regulation of mitochondrial dynamics.
  4. Open Biol. 2022 Nov;12(11): 220198
      Inhibition of respiratory complex I (CI) is becoming a promising anti-cancer strategy, encouraging the design and the use of inhibitors, whose mechanism of action, efficacy and specificity remain elusive. As CI is a central player of cellular bioenergetics, a finely tuned dosing of targeting drugs is required to avoid side effects. We compared the specificity and mode of action of CI inhibitors metformin, BAY 87-2243 and EVP 4593 using cancer cell models devoid of CI. Here we show that both BAY 87-2243 and EVP 4593 were selective, while the antiproliferative effects of metformin were considerably independent from CI inhibition. Molecular docking predictions indicated that the high efficiency of BAY 87-2243 and EVP 4593 may derive from the tight network of bonds in the quinone binding pocket, although in different sites. Most of the amino acids involved in such interactions are conserved across species and only rarely found mutated in human. Our data make a case for caution when referring to metformin as a CI-targeting compound, and highlight the need for dosage optimization and careful evaluation of molecular interactions between inhibitors and the holoenzyme.
    Keywords:  BAY 87-2243; EVP 4593; IACS-010759; cancer therapy; complex I inhibitors; metformin; respiratory complex I
  5. Endocr Relat Cancer. 2022 Nov 01. pii: ERC-22-0229. [Epub ahead of print]
      It has long been recognised that cancer cells critically depend on reprogrammed patterns of metabolism that can enable robust and abnormally high levels of cell proliferation. As mitochondria form hubs of cellular metabolic activity, it is reasonable to propose that pathways within these organelles can form targets that can be manipulated to compromise the ability of cancer cells to cause disease. However, mitochondria are highly multi-functional and the full range of mechanistic inter-connections are still being unraveled to enable the full potential of targeting mitochondria in cancer therapeutics. Here, we aim to highlight the potential of modulating mitochondrial dynamics to target key metabolic or apoptotic pathways in cancer cells. Distinct roles have been demonstrated for mitochondrial fission and fusion in different cancer contexts. Targeting of factors mediating mitochondrial dynamics may be directly related to impairment of oxidative phosphorylation, which is essential to sustain cancer cell growth and can also alter sensitivity to chemotherapeutic compounds. This area is still lacking a unified model although further investigation will more comprehensively map the underlying molecular mechanisms to enable better rational therapeutic strategies based on these pathways.
  6. Elife. 2022 Nov 08. pii: e82206. [Epub ahead of print]11
      Oxidative stress is a major risk factor that causes osteocyte cell death and bone loss. Prior studies primarily focus on the function of cell surface expressed Cx43 channels. Here, we reported a new role of mitochondrial Cx43 (mtCx43) and hemichannels (HCs) in modulating mitochondria homeostasis and function in bone osteocytes under oxidative stress. In murine long bone osteocyte-Y4 cells, the translocation of Cx43 to mitochondria was increased under H2O2-induced oxidative stress. H2O2 increased the mtCx43 level accompanied by elevated mtCx43 HC activity, determined by dye uptake assay. Cx43 knockdown (KD) by the CRISPR-Cas9 lentivirus system resulted in impairment of mitochondrial function, primarily manifested as decreased ATP production. Cx43 KD had reduced intracellular reactive oxidative species levels and mitochondrial membrane potential. Additionally, live-cell imaging results demonstrated that the proton flux was dependent on mtCx43 HCs because its activity was specifically inhibited by an antibody targeting Cx43 C-terminus. The co-localization and interaction of mtCx43 and ATP synthase subunit F (ATP5J2) were confirmed by Förster resonance energy transfer and a protein pull-down assay. Together, our study suggests that mtCx43 HCs regulate mitochondrial ATP generation by mediating K+, H+, and ATP transfer across the mitochondrial inner membrane and the interaction with mitochondrial ATP synthase, contributing to the maintenance of mitochondrial redox levels in response to oxidative stress.
    Keywords:  ATP synthase; cell biology; connexin 43; mouse; osteocytes; oxidative stress; proton
  7. J Cell Biol. 2023 Jan 02. pii: e202201137. [Epub ahead of print]222(1):
      Mechanisms that safeguard mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) limit the accumulation of mutations linked to mitochondrial and age-related diseases. Yet, pathways that repair double-strand breaks (DSBs) in animal mitochondria are poorly understood. By performing a candidate screen for mtDNA repair proteins, we identify that REC-an MCM helicase that drives meiotic recombination in the nucleus-also localizes to mitochondria in Drosophila. We show that REC repairs mtDNA DSBs by homologous recombination in somatic and germline tissues. Moreover, REC prevents age-associated mtDNA mutations. We further show that MCM8, the human ortholog of REC, also localizes to mitochondria and limits the accumulation of mtDNA mutations. This study provides mechanistic insight into animal mtDNA recombination and demonstrates its importance in safeguarding mtDNA during ageing and evolution.
  8. Front Oncol. 2022 ;12 1034397
      Highly glycolytic cancer cells excrete lactate to maintain cellular homeostasis. Inhibiting lactate export by pharmacological targeting of plasma membrane lactate transporters is being pursued as an anti-cancer therapy. Work from many laboratories show that the simultaneous inhibition of lactate export and mitochondrial respiration elicits strong synthetic lethality. The mitochondrial inhibitor, metformin, has been the subject of numerous clinical trials as an anti-cancer agent. We propose that, in future clinical trials, metformin be combined with lactate transport inhibitors to exploit this synergistic interaction.
    Keywords:  MCT4; cancer; lactic acid; metformin; monocarboxylate transporter; syrosingopine
  9. Nat Commun. 2022 Nov 07. 13(1): 6704
      Understanding the mechanisms governing selective turnover of mutation-bearing mtDNA is fundamental to design therapeutic strategies against mtDNA diseases. Here, we show that specific mtDNA damage leads to an exacerbated mtDNA turnover, independent of canonical macroautophagy, but relying on lysosomal function and ATG5. Using proximity labeling and Twinkle as a nucleoid marker, we demonstrate that mtDNA damage induces membrane remodeling and endosomal recruitment in close proximity to mitochondrial nucleoid sub-compartments. Targeting of mitochondrial nucleoids is controlled by the ATAD3-SAMM50 axis, which is disrupted upon mtDNA damage. SAMM50 acts as a gatekeeper, influencing BAK clustering, controlling nucleoid release and facilitating transfer to endosomes. Here, VPS35 mediates maturation of early endosomes to late autophagy vesicles where degradation occurs. In addition, using a mouse model where mtDNA alterations cause impairment of muscle regeneration, we show that stimulation of lysosomal activity by rapamycin, selectively removes mtDNA deletions without affecting mtDNA copy number, ameliorating mitochondrial dysfunction. Taken together, our data demonstrates that upon mtDNA damage, mitochondrial nucleoids are eliminated outside the mitochondrial network through an endosomal-mitophagy pathway. With these results, we unveil the molecular players of a complex mechanism with multiple potential benefits to understand mtDNA related diseases, inherited, acquired or due to normal ageing.
  10. Cell Death Dis. 2022 Nov 08. 13(11): 938
      Inhibition of the mitochondrial metabolism offers a promising therapeutic approach for the treatment of cancer. Here, we identify the mycotoxin viriditoxin (VDT), derived from the endophytic fungus Cladosporium cladosporioides, as an interesting candidate for leukemia and lymphoma treatment. VDT displayed a high cytotoxic potential and rapid kinetics of caspase activation in Jurkat leukemia and Ramos lymphoma cells in contrast to solid tumor cells that were affected to a much lesser extent. Most remarkably, human hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells and peripheral blood mononuclear cells derived from healthy donors were profoundly resilient to VDT-induced cytotoxicity. Likewise, the colony-forming capacity was affected only at very high concentrations, which provides a therapeutic window for cancer treatment. Intriguingly, VDT could directly activate the mitochondrial apoptosis pathway in leukemia cells in the presence of antiapoptotic Bcl-2 proteins. The mitochondrial toxicity of VDT was further confirmed by inhibition of mitochondrial respiration, breakdown of the mitochondrial membrane potential (ΔΨm), the release of mitochondrial cytochrome c, generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS), processing of the dynamin-like GTPase OPA1 and subsequent fission of mitochondria. Thus, VDT-mediated targeting of mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) might represent a promising therapeutic approach for the treatment of leukemia and lymphoma without affecting hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells.
  11. Cancer Discov. 2022 Nov 10. pii: CD-21-0218. [Epub ahead of print]
      Isocitrate dehydrogenase 1 and 2 (IDH) are mutated in multiple cancers and drive production of (R)-2-hydroxyglutarate (2HG). We identified a lipid synthesis enzyme (acetyl CoA carboxylase 1, ACC1) as a synthetic lethal target in mutant IDH1 (mIDH1), but not mIDH2, cancers. Here, we analyzed the metabolome of primary acute myeloid leukemia (AML) blasts and identified a mIDH1-specific reduction in fatty acids. mIDH1 also induced a switch to beta-oxidation indicating reprogramming of metabolism towards a reliance on fatty acids. Compared to mIDH2, mIDH1 AML displayed depletion of NADPH with defective reductive carboxylation that was not rescued by the mIDH1-specific inhibitor ivosidenib. In xenograft models, a lipid-free diet markedly slowed the growth of mIDH1 AML, but not healthy CD34+ HSPCs or mIDH2 AML. Genetic and pharmacologic targeting of ACC1 resulted in growth inhibition of mIDH1 cancers, not reversible by ivosidenib. Critically, pharmacologic targeting of ACC1 improved sensitivity of mIDH1 AML to venetoclax.
  12. Biochim Biophys Acta Bioenerg. 2022 Oct 29. pii: S0005-2728(22)00401-7. [Epub ahead of print]1864(1): 148931
      Cancer cells display an altered energy metabolism, which was proposed to be the root of cancer. This early discovery was done by O. Warburg who conducted one of the first studies of tumor cell energy metabolism. Taking advantage of cancer cells that exhibited various growth rates, he showed that cancer cells display a decreased respiration and an increased glycolysis proportional to the increase in their growth rate, suggesting that they mainly depend on fermentative metabolism for ATP generation. Warburg's results and hypothesis generated controversies that are persistent to this day. It is thus of great importance to understand the mechanisms by which cancer cells can reversibly regulate the two pathways of their energy metabolism as well as the functioning of this metabolism in cell proliferation. In this review, we discuss of the origin of the decrease in cell respiratory rate, whether the Warburg effect is mandatory for an increased cell proliferation rate, the consequences of this effect on two major players of cell energy metabolism that are ATP and NADH, and the role of the microenvironment in the regulation of cellular respiration and metabolism both in cancer cell and in yeast.
    Keywords:  Cancer; Mitochondria; Oxidative phosphorylation; Warburg effect
  13. Cell. 2022 Nov 02. pii: S0092-8674(22)01318-6. [Epub ahead of print]
      Brown adipose tissue (BAT) regulates metabolic physiology. However, nearly all mechanistic studies of BAT protein function occur in a single inbred mouse strain, which has limited the understanding of generalizable mechanisms of BAT regulation over physiology. Here, we perform deep quantitative proteomics of BAT across a cohort of 163 genetically defined diversity outbred mice, a model that parallels the genetic and phenotypic variation found in humans. We leverage this diversity to define the functional architecture of the outbred BAT proteome, comprising 10,479 proteins. We assign co-operative functions to 2,578 proteins, enabling systematic discovery of regulators of BAT. We also identify 638 proteins that correlate with protection from, or sensitivity to, at least one parameter of metabolic disease. We use these findings to uncover SFXN5, LETMD1, and ATP1A2 as modulators of BAT thermogenesis or adiposity, and provide OPABAT as a resource for understanding the conserved mechanisms of BAT regulation over metabolic physiology.
  14. ACS Omega. 2022 Nov 01. 7(43): 39197-39205
      Metal-based drugs, such as cisplatin and auranofin, are used for the treatment of cancer and rheumatoid arthritis, respectively. Auranofin and other gold-derived compounds have been shown to possess anticancer, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and antiparasitic activity in preclinical and clinical trials. Unlike platinum agents which are known to target DNA, the target of gold is not well elucidated. To better understand the targets and effects of gold agents in mammalian cells, we used a targeted CRISPR (ToxCRISPR) screen in K562 cancer cells to identify genes that modulate cellular sensitivity to gold. We synthesized a novel chiral gold(I) compound, JHK-21, with potent anticancer activity. Among the most sensitizing hits were proteins involved in mitochondrial carriers, mitochondrial metabolism, and oxidative phosphorylation. Further analysis revealed that JHK-21 induced inner mitochondria membrane dysfunction and modulated ATP-binding cassette subfamily member C (ABCC1) function in a manner distinct from auranofin. Characterizing the therapeutic effects and toxicities of metallodrugs in mammalian cells is of growing interest to guide future drug discovery, and cellular and preclinical/clinical studies.
  15. Cancer Lett. 2023 Jan 01. pii: S0304-3835(22)00468-2. [Epub ahead of print]552 215981
      Inhibitors of dihydroorotate dehydrogenase (DHODH), a key enzyme for de novo synthesis of pyrimidine nucleotides, have failed in clinical trials for various cancers despite robust efficacy in preclinical animal models. To probe for druggable mediators of DHODH inhibitor resistance, we performed a combination screen with a small molecule library against pancreatic cancer cell lines that are highly resistant to the DHODH inhibitor brequinar (BQ). The screen revealed that CNX-774, a preclinical Bruton tyrosine kinase (BTK) inhibitor, sensitizes resistant cell lines to BQ. Mechanistic studies showed that this effect is independent of BTK and instead results from inhibition of equilibrative nucleoside transporter 1 (ENT1) by CNX-774. We show that ENT1 mediates BQ resistance by taking up extracellular uridine, which is salvaged to generate pyrimidine nucleotides in a DHODH-independent manner. In BQ-resistant cell lines, BQ monotherapy slowed proliferation and caused modest pyrimidine nucleotide depletion, whereas combination treatment with BQ and CNX-774 led to profound cell viability loss and pyrimidine starvation. We also identify N-acetylneuraminic acid accumulation as a potential marker of the therapeutic efficacy of DHODH inhibitors. In an aggressive, immunocompetent pancreatic cancer mouse model, combined targeting of DHODH and ENT1 dramatically suppressed tumor growth and prolonged mouse survival. Overall, our study defines CNX-774 as a previously uncharacterized ENT1 inhibitor and provides strong proof of concept support for dual targeting of DHODH and ENT1 in pancreatic cancer.
    Keywords:  CNX-774; Cancer metabolism; DHODH inhibitor; Nucleoside transporter; Nucleotide metabolism; Pancreatic cancer; Therapy resistance
  16. Metabolomics. 2022 Nov 11. 18(11): 91
      INTRODUCTION: Advances in metabolomics have significantly improved cancer detection, diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis.OBJECTIVES: To investigate the relationship between metabolic tumor volume (MTV) using 2-deoxy-2-[18F]fluoro-D-glucose (FDG) positron emission tomography (PET)/ computed tomography (CT) and metabolomics data in patients with colorectal cancer (CRC).
    METHODS: The metabolome in tumor tissues was analyzed using capillary electrophoresis time-of-flight mass spectrometry in 33 patients with newly diagnosed CRC who underwent FDG PET/CT before treatment and had tumor tissue post-surgery. Based on the FDG PET data, MTV was calculated and was dichotomized according to the median value, and tumors were divided into low-MTV and high-MTV tumors. Metabolomics data were compared between the low-MTV and high-MTV tumors.
    RESULTS: The levels of most glycolysis-related metabolites were not different between low-MTV and high-MTV tumors. The level of component of the initial part of the tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle, citrate, was significantly lower in the high-MTV tumor than in the low-MTV tumor. The TCA intermediate succinate level was significantly higher in the high-MTV tumor than in the low-MTV tumor. In contrast, the TCA intermediate fumarate level was significantly lower in the high-MTV tumor than in the low-MTV tumor. The levels of many amino acids were significantly higher in the high-MTV tumor than in the low-MTV tumor.
    CONCLUSIONS: Although preliminary, these results suggest that tumors with high FDG metabolism in CRC may obtain more energy by using a reverse reaction of the TCA cycle and amino-acid metabolism. However, further research is required to clarify this relationship.
    Keywords:  Colorectal cancer; FDG; Metabolome; PET/CT
  17. Cell Rep Med. 2022 Nov 03. pii: S2666-3791(22)00361-5. [Epub ahead of print] 100802
      Neoadjuvant chemoradiotherapy (nCRT) improves outcomes in resectable esophageal adenocarcinoma (EAC), but acquired resistance precludes long-term efficacy. Here, we delineate these resistance mechanisms. RNA sequencing on matched patient samples obtained pre-and post-neoadjuvant treatment reveal that oxidative phosphorylation was the most upregulated of all biological programs following nCRT. Analysis of patient-derived models confirms that mitochondrial content and oxygen consumption strongly increase in response to nCRT and that ionizing radiation is the causative agent. Bioinformatics identifies estrogen-related receptor alpha (ESRRA) as the transcription factor responsible for reprogramming, and overexpression and silencing of ESRRA functionally confirm that its downstream metabolic rewiring contributes to resistance. Pharmacological inhibition of ESRRA successfully sensitizes EAC organoids and patient-derived xenografts to radiation. In conclusion, we report a profound metabolic rewiring following chemoradiation and demonstrate that its inhibition resensitizes EAC cells to radiation. These findings hold broader relevance for other cancer types treated with radiation as well.
    Keywords:  ESRRA; chemoradiation; esophageal cancer; metabolic reprogramming; oxidative phosphorylation; radiation; resistance
  18. IJU Case Rep. 2022 Nov;5(6): 480-483
      Introduction: SDH Gene mutation is known to be a common cause of pheochromocytoma/paraganglioma and renal cell carcinoma. Here, we report a case of succinate dehydrogenase B-deficient paraganglioma, which has a high risk of metastasis and recurrence, complicated by succinate dehydrogenase-deficient renal cell carcinoma, which is rare and accounts for approximately 0.1% of all renal cell carcinomas.Case presentation: A 50-year-old man underwent en bloc resection of a retroperitoneal tumor and the right kidney for retroperitoneal paraganglioma and right renal tumor. Both tumors showed negative expressions of succinate dehydrogenase B in immunostaining. The patient was diagnosed with succinate dehydrogenase-deficient paraganglioma and succinate dehydrogenase-deficient renal cell carcinoma. Seventeen months later, retroperitoneal lymphadenectomy revealed lymph node metastasis of the paraganglioma. Deletion of the SDHB gene was revealed by genome sequencing of the lymph node.
    Conclusion: This is the first reported case of synchronously diagnosed succinate dehydrogenase-deficient paraganglioma and succinate dehydrogenase-deficient renal cell carcinoma.
    Keywords:  anaerobic metabolism; paraganglioma; pheochromocytoma; renal cell cancer; succinate dehydrogenase
  19. Curr Top Membr. 2022 ;pii: S1063-5823(22)00010-2. [Epub ahead of print]90 13-35
      Mitochondria actively contribute to cellular Ca2+ homeostasis. The molecular mechanisms of mitochondrial Ca2+ uptake and release are well characterized and are attributed to the multi-protein assembly of the mitochondrial Ca2+ uniporter complex (MCUC) and the mitochondrial sodium-calcium exchanger (NCLX), respectively. Hence, Ca2+ transfer from the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and store-operated Ca2+ entry (SOCE) into the mitochondrial matrix has been quantitatively visualized on the subcellular level using targeted fluorescent biosensors. However, a correlation between the amplitude of cytosolic Ca2+ elevation with that in the mitochondrial matrix has not been investigated in detail so far. In the present study, we combined the Ca2+-mobilizing agonist histamine with the H1-receptor antagonist risperidone to establish a well-tunable experimental approach allowing the correlation between low, slow, high, and fast cytosolic and mitochondrial Ca2+ signals in response to inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate (IP3)-triggered ER Ca2+ release. Our present data confirm a defined threshold in cytosolic Ca2+, which is necessary for the activation of mitochondrial Ca2+ uptake. Moreover, our data support the hypothesis of different modes of mitochondrial Ca2+ uptake depending on the source of the ion (i.e., ER vs SOCE).
    Keywords:  Cytosolic calcium; Endothelial cells; Histamine receptors; Mitochondrial Ca(2+) uptake; Mitochondrial calcium; Risperidone; Single-cell fluorescence imaging
  20. Curr Biol. 2022 Nov 02. pii: S0960-9822(22)01673-6. [Epub ahead of print]
      The loss of mitochondria in oxymonad protists has been associated with the redirection of the essential Fe-S cluster assembly to the cytosol. Yet as our knowledge of diverse free-living protists broadens, the list of functions of their mitochondrial-related organelles (MROs) expands. We revealed another such function in the closest oxymonad relative, Paratrimastix pyriformis, after we solved the proteome of its MRO with high accuracy, using localization of organelle proteins by isotope tagging (LOPIT). The newly assigned enzymes connect to the glycine cleavage system (GCS) and produce folate derivatives with one-carbon units and formate. These are likely to be used by the cytosolic methionine cycle involved in S-adenosyl methionine recycling. The data provide consistency with the presence of the GCS in MROs of free-living species and its absence in most endobionts, which typically lose the methionine cycle and, in the case of oxymonads, the mitochondria.
    Keywords:  LOPIT; Paratrimastix; glycine cleavage system; methionine cycle; mitochondrion-related organelle; one-carbon metabolism; proteome; spatial proteomics
  21. Curr Oncol. 2022 Nov 09. 29(11): 8529-8539
      The prognosis of patients with multiple myeloma (MM) has improved dramatically with the introduction of new therapeutic drugs, but the disease eventually becomes drug-resistant, following an intractable and incurable course. A myeloma niche (MM niche) develops in the bone marrow microenvironment and plays an important role in the drug resistance mechanism of MM. In particular, adhesion between MM cells and bone marrow stromal cells mediated by adhesion molecules induces cell adhesion-mediated drug resistance (CAM-DR). Analyses of the role of mitochondria in cancer cells, including MM cells, has revealed that the mechanism leading to drug resistance involves exchange of mitochondria between cells (mitochondrial transfer) via tunneling nanotubes (TNTs) within the MM niche. Here, we describe the discovery of these drug resistance mechanisms and the identification of promising therapeutic agents primarily targeting CAM-DR, mitochondrial transfer, and TNTs.
    Keywords:  CAM-DR; MM niche; mitochondrial transfer; multiple myeloma; tunneling nanotube
  22. Br J Haematol. 2022 Nov 07.
    Keywords:  APL; all-trans retinoic acid; mitochondrial DNA content
  23. Cancer Cell. 2022 Oct 31. pii: S1535-6108(22)00500-1. [Epub ahead of print]
      MYC-driven medulloblastoma (MB) is an aggressive pediatric brain tumor characterized by therapy resistance and disease recurrence. Here, we integrated data from unbiased genetic screening and metabolomic profiling to identify multiple cancer-selective metabolic vulnerabilities in MYC-driven MB tumor cells, which are amenable to therapeutic targeting. Among these targets, dihydroorotate dehydrogenase (DHODH), an enzyme that catalyzes de novo pyrimidine biosynthesis, emerged as a favorable candidate for therapeutic targeting. Mechanistically, DHODH inhibition acts on target, leading to uridine metabolite scarcity and hyperlipidemia, accompanied by reduced protein O-GlcNAcylation and c-Myc degradation. Pyrimidine starvation evokes a metabolic stress response that leads to cell-cycle arrest and apoptosis. We further show that an orally available small-molecule DHODH inhibitor demonstrates potent mono-therapeutic efficacy against patient-derived MB xenografts in vivo. The reprogramming of pyrimidine metabolism in MYC-driven medulloblastoma represents an unappreciated therapeutic strategy and a potential new class of treatments with stronger cancer selectivity and fewer neurotoxic sequelae.
    Keywords:  DHODH; brain tumor initiating cells; c-Myc; medulloblastoma; metabolic reprogramming; pyrimidine metabolism
  24. Oncogene. 2022 Nov 10.
      The heterogeneity and drug resistance of colorectal cancer (CRC) often lead to treatment failure. Isocitrate dehydrogenase 1 (IDH1), a rate-limiting enzyme in the tricarboxylic acid cycle, regulates the intracellular redox environment and mediates tumor cell resistance to chemotherapeutic drugs. The aim of this study was to elucidate the mechanism underlying the involvement of IDH1 acetylation in the development of CRC drug resistance under induction of TNFα. We found TNFα disrupted the interaction between SIRT1 and IDH1 and increased the level of acetylation at K115 of IDH1. Hyperacetylation of K115 was accompanied by protein ubiquitination, which increased its susceptibility to degradation compared to IDH1 K115R. TNFα-mediated hyperacetylation of K115 sensitized the CRC cells to 5FU and reduced the NADPH/NADP ratio to that of intracellular ROS. Furthermore, TNFα and 5FU inhibited CRC tumor growth in vivo, while the K115R-expressing tumor tissues developed 5FU resistance. In human CRC tissues, K115 acetylation was positively correlated with TNFα infiltration, and K115 hyperacetylation was associated with favorable prognosis compared to chemotherapy-induced deacetylation. Therefore, TNFα-induced hyperacetylation at the K115 site of IDH1 promotes antitumor redox homeostasis in CRC cells, and can be used as a marker to predict the response of CRC patients to chemotherapy.
  25. iScience. 2022 Nov 18. 25(11): 105389
      Succinate dehydrogenase (SDH)-deficient renal cell carcinoma represents a rare subtype of hereditary kidney cancer. Clinical diagnosis can be challenging and there is little evidence to guide systemic therapeutic options. We performed genomic profiling of a cohort of tumors through the analysis of whole genomes, transcriptomes, as well as flow cytometry and immunohistochemistry in order to gain a deeper understanding of their molecular biology. We find neutral evolution after early tumor activation with a lack of secondary driver events. We show that these tumors have epithelial derivation, possibly from the macula densa, a specialized paracrine cell of the renal juxtaglomerular apparatus. They subsequently develop into immune excluded tumors. We provide transcriptomic and protein expression evidence of a highly specific tumor marker, PAPPA2. These translational findings have implications for the diagnosis and treatment for this rare tumor subtype.
    Keywords:  Cancer; Cancer systems biology; Genomics
  26. Blood Cancer J. 2022 Nov 09. 12(11): 151
      The treatment of acute leukemia is challenging because of the genetic heterogeneity between and within patients. Leukemic stem cells (LSCs) are relatively drug-resistant and frequently relapse. Their plasticity and capacity to adapt to extracellular stress, in which mitochondrial metabolism and autophagy play important roles, further complicates treatment. Genetic models of phosphatidylinositol-5-phosphate 4-kinase type 2 protein (PIP4K2s) inhibition have demonstrated the relevance of these enzymes in mitochondrial homeostasis and autophagic flux. Here, we uncovered the cellular and molecular effects of THZ-P1-2, a pan-inhibitor of PIP4K2s, in acute leukemia cells. THZ-P1-2 reduced cell viability and induced DNA damage, apoptosis, loss of mitochondrial membrane potential, and the accumulation of acidic vesicular organelles. Protein expression analysis revealed that THZ-P1-2 impaired autophagic flux. In addition, THZ-P1-2 induced cell differentiation and showed synergistic effects with venetoclax. In primary leukemia cells, LC-MS/MS-based proteome analysis revealed that sensitivity to THZ-P1-2 is associated with mitochondrial metabolism, cell cycle, cell-of-origin (hematopoietic stem cell and myeloid progenitor), and the TP53 pathway. The minimal effects of THZ-P1-2 observed in healthy CD34+ cells suggest a favorable therapeutic window. Our study provides insights into the pharmacological inhibition of PIP4K2s targeting mitochondrial homeostasis and autophagy, shedding light on a new class of drugs for acute leukemia.
  27. Nature. 2022 Nov 09.
      Genome sequencing of cancers often reveals mosaics of different subclones present in the same tumour1-3. Although these are believed to arise according to the principles of somatic evolution, the exact spatial growth patterns and underlying mechanisms remain elusive4,5. Here, to address this need, we developed a workflow that generates detailed quantitative maps of genetic subclone composition across whole-tumour sections. These provide the basis for studying clonal growth patterns, and the histological characteristics, microanatomy and microenvironmental composition of each clone. The approach rests on whole-genome sequencing, followed by highly multiplexed base-specific in situ sequencing, single-cell resolved transcriptomics and dedicated algorithms to link these layers. Applying the base-specific in situ sequencing workflow to eight tissue sections from two multifocal primary breast cancers revealed intricate subclonal growth patterns that were validated by microdissection. In a case of ductal carcinoma in situ, polyclonal neoplastic expansions occurred at the macroscopic scale but segregated within microanatomical structures. Across the stages of ductal carcinoma in situ, invasive cancer and lymph node metastasis, subclone territories are shown to exhibit distinct transcriptional and histological features and cellular microenvironments. These results provide examples of the benefits afforded by spatial genomics for deciphering the mechanisms underlying cancer evolution and microenvironmental ecology.
  28. J Biol Chem. 2022 Nov 07. pii: S0021-9258(22)01121-8. [Epub ahead of print] 102678
      Metformin, an antidiabetic drug, shows some potent anti-tumor effects. However, the molecular mechanism of metformin in tumor suppression has not been clarified. Here we provided evidence using in vitro and in vivo data that metformin inhibited mevalonate pathway by downregulation of HMGCS1, a key enzyme in this pathway. Our results further demonstrated that metformin downregulated HMGCS1 expression through inhibition of transcription factor NRF2. Additionally, we determined that HMGCS1 was highly expressed in human liver and lung cancer tissues and associated with lower survival rates. In summary, our study indicated that metformin suppresses tumorigenesis through inhibition of the NRF2/HMGCS1 axis, which might be a potential target in cancer prevention and treatment.