bims-mibica Biomed News
on Mitochondrial bioenergetics in cancer
Issue of 2023‒02‒12
37 papers selected by
Kelsey Fisher-Wellman
East Carolina University

  1. Free Radic Biol Med. 2023 Feb 08. pii: S0891-5849(23)00054-0. [Epub ahead of print]
      Cancer cells are characterised by an elevated metabolic plasticity and enhanced production of reactive oxygen species (ROS), two features acknowledged as hallmarks in cancer, with a high translational potential to the therapeutic setting. These aspects, that have been traditionally studied separately, are in fact intimately intermingled. As part of their transforming activity, some oncogenes stimulate rewiring of metabolic processes, whilst simultaneously promoting increased production of intracellular ROS. In this scenario the latest discoveries suggest the relevance of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADPH) oxidases (NOX) to connect ROS production and metabolic control. Here we have analysed the relevance of NOX2 and NOX4 in the regulation of metabolism in chronic myeloid leukaemia (CML), a neoplasia driven by the expression of the breakpoint cluster region-Abelson fusion oncogene (BCR-ABL). Silencing of NOX2 enhances glycolysis and oxidative phosphorylation rates, together with an enhanced production of mitochondrial ROS and a decrease in mitochondrial DNA copy number, which reflects mitochondrial dysfunction. NOX4 expression was upregulated upon NOX2 silencing, and this was required to alter mitochondrial function. Our results support the relevance of NOX2 to regulate metabolism-related signalling pathways downstream of BCR-ABL. Overall we show that NOX2, through the regulation of NOX4 expression, controls metabolism and mitochondrial function in CML cells. This notion was confirmed by transcriptomic analyses, that strongly relate both NOX isoforms with metabolism regulation in CML.
    Keywords:  Chronic myeloid leukaemia; Metabolism; Mitochondria; NOX2; NOX4; Oxidative phosphorylation
  2. Molecules. 2023 Jan 24. pii: 1161. [Epub ahead of print]28(3):
      Mitochondria is an important drug target for ailments ranging from neoplastic to neurodegenerative diseases and metabolic diseases. Here, we describe the synthesis of chloroquine analogs and show the results of mitochondrial ATP inhibition testing. The 2,4-dinitrobenzene-based analogs showed concentration-dependent mitochondrial (mito.) ATP inhibition. The most potent mito. ATP inhibitor was found to be N-(4-((2,4-Dinitrophenyl)amino)pentyl)-N-ethylacetamide (17).
    Keywords:  chloroquine; hydroxychloroquine; mitochondrial inhibitor
  3. Cancers (Basel). 2023 Jan 21. pii: 666. [Epub ahead of print]15(3):
      Cancer is one of the leading causes of death and the most important impediments to the efforts to increase life expectancy worldwide. Currently, chemotherapy is the main treatment for cancer, but it is often accompanied by side effects that affect normal tissues and organs. The search for new alternatives to chemotherapy has been a hot research topic in the field of antineoplastic medicine. Drugs targeting diseased tissues or cells can significantly improve the efficacy of drugs. Therefore, organelle-targeted antitumor drugs are being explored, such as mitochondria-targeted antitumor drugs. Mitochondria is the central site of cellular energy production and plays an important role in cell survival and death. Moreover, a large number of studies have shown a close association between mitochondrial metabolism and tumorigenesis and progression, making mitochondria a promising new target for cancer therapy. Combining mitochondrial targeting agents with drug molecules is an effective way of mitochondrial targeting. In addition, hyperpolarized tumor cell membranes and mitochondrial membrane potentially allow selective accumulation of mitochondria-targeted drugs. This enhances the direct killing of tumor cells by drug molecules while minimizing the potential toxicity to normal cells. In this review, we discuss the common pro-mitochondrial agents, the advantages of triphenylphosphine (TPP) in mitochondrial-targeted cancer therapy and systematically summarize various TPP-based mitochondria-targeting anticancer drugs.
    Keywords:  cancer therapy; delocalized lipophilic cations; membrane potential; mitochondria; triphenylphosphine
  4. Cell Metab. 2023 Feb 07. pii: S1550-4131(23)00003-7. [Epub ahead of print]35(2): 345-360.e7
      Mitochondrial components have been abundantly detected in bone matrix, implying that they are somehow transported extracellularly to regulate osteogenesis. Here, we demonstrate that mitochondria and mitochondrial-derived vesicles (MDVs) are secreted from mature osteoblasts to promote differentiation of osteoprogenitors. We show that osteogenic induction stimulates mitochondrial fragmentation, donut formation, and secretion of mitochondria through CD38/cADPR signaling. Enhancing mitochondrial fission and donut formation through Opa1 knockdown or Fis1 overexpression increases mitochondrial secretion and accelerates osteogenesis. We also show that mitochondrial fusion promoter M1, which induces Opa1 expression, impedes osteogenesis, whereas osteoblast-specific Opa1 deletion increases bone mass. We further demonstrate that secreted mitochondria and MDVs enhance bone regeneration in vivo. Our findings suggest that mitochondrial morphology in mature osteoblasts is adapted for extracellular secretion, and secreted mitochondria and MDVs are critical promoters of osteogenesis.
    Keywords:  FIS1; M1; OPA1; donut mitochondria; mitochondria; mitochondrial secretion; mitochondrial transplantation; mitochondrial-derived vesicles; osteoblasts; osteogenesis
  5. Curr Opin Neurobiol. 2023 Feb 06. pii: S0959-4388(23)00009-0. [Epub ahead of print]79 102684
      Apolipoprotein (apo) E4 sets the stage for neuropathology in Alzheimer's disease (AD) by causing mitochondrial dysfunction and altering mitochondria-associated membranes. Contact and apposition of mitochondrial-endoplasmic reticulum membranes are enhanced in brain cells in AD and associated with increases in tethering and spacing proteins that modulate many cellular processes. Contact site protein levels are higher in apoE4 cells. In apoE4 neurons, the NAD+/NADH ratio is lowered, reactive oxygen species are increased, and NAD/NADH pathway components and redox proteins are decreased. Oxidative phosphorylation is impaired and reserve ATP generation capacity is lacking. ApoE4 neurons have ∼50% fewer respiratory complex subunits (e.g., ATP synthase) and may increase translocase levels of the outer and inner mitochondrial membranes to facilitate delivery of nucleus-encoded complex subunits. Respiratory complex assembly relies on mitochondrial cristae organizing system subunits that are altered in apoE4 cells, and apoE4 increases mitochondrial proteases that control respiratory subunit composition for complex assembly.
  6. Mitochondrion. 2023 Feb 08. pii: S1567-7249(23)00011-9. [Epub ahead of print]
      Mitochondrial function generates an important fraction of the heat that contributes to cellular and organismal temperature maintenance, but the actual values of this parameter reached in the organelles is a matter of debate. The studies addressing this issue have reported divergent results: from detecting in the organelles the same temperature as the cell average or the incubation temperature, to increasing differences of up to 10 degrees above the incubation value. Theoretical calculations based on physical laws exclude the possibility of relevant temperature gradients between mitochondria and their surroundings. These facts have given rise to a conundrum or paradox about hot mitochondria. We have examined by Blue-Native electrophoresis, both in intact cells and in isolated organelles, the stability of respiratory complexes and supercomplexes at different temperatures to obtain information about their tolerance to heat stress. We observe that, upon incubation at values above 43 °C and after relatively short periods, respiratory complexes, and especially complex I and its supercomplexes, are unstable even when the respiratory activity is inhibited. These results support the conclusion that high temperatures (> 43 °C) cause damage to mitochondrial structure and function and question the proposal that these organelles can physiologically work at close to 50 °C.
    Keywords:  hyperthermia; mitochondria; respiratory complex; stability; supercomplex; temperature
  7. Cancers (Basel). 2023 Jan 27. pii: 787. [Epub ahead of print]15(3):
      Targeting NAD depletion in cancer cells has emerged as an attractive therapeutic strategy for cancer treatment, based on the higher reliance of malignant vs. healthy cells on NAD to sustain their aberrant proliferation and altered metabolism. NAD depletion is exquisitely observed when NAMPT, a key enzyme for the biosynthesis of NAD, is inhibited. Growing evidence suggests that alternative NAD sources present in a tumor environment can bypass NAMPT and render its inhibition ineffective. Here, we report the identification of nicotinaldehyde as a novel precursor that can be used for NAD biosynthesis by human leukemia cells. Nicotinaldehyde supplementation replenishes the intracellular NAD level in leukemia cells treated with NAMPT inhibitor APO866 and prevents APO866-induced oxidative stress, mitochondrial dysfunction and ATP depletion. We show here that NAD biosynthesis from nicotinaldehyde depends on NAPRT and occurs via the Preiss-Handler pathway. The availability of nicotinaldehyde in a tumor environment fully blunts the antitumor activity of APO866 in vitro and in vivo. This is the first study to report the role of nicotinaldehyde in the NAD-targeted anti-cancer treatment, highlighting the importance of the tumor metabolic environment in modulating the efficacy of NAD-lowering cancer therapy.
    Keywords:  APO866; NAD; NAMPT inhibitor; acute myeloid leukemia; nicotinaldehyde
  8. Blood Cancer Discov. 2023 Feb 10. pii: BCD-22-0086. [Epub ahead of print]
      Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is fueled by leukemic stem cells (LSCs) whose determinants are challenging to discern from hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) or uncover by approaches focused on general cell properties. We have identified a set of RNA binding proteins (RBPs) selectively enriched in human AML LSCs. Using an in vivo two-step CRISPR-Cas9 screen to assay stem cell functionality, we found 32 RBPs essential for LSCs in MLL-AF9;NrasG12D AML. Loss-of-function approaches targeting key hit RBP ELAVL1 compromised LSC-driven in vivo leukemic reconstitution and selectively depleted primitive malignant vs. healthy cells. Integrative multiomics revealed differentiation, splicing and mitochondrial metabolism as key features defining the leukemic ELAVL1-mRNA interactome with mitochondrial import protein, TOMM34 being a direct ELAVL1-stabilized target whose repression impairs AML propagation. Altogether, using a stem cell-adapted in vivo CRISPR screen, this work demonstrates pervasive reliance on RBPs as regulators of LSCs and highlights their potential as therapeutic targets in AML.
  9. bioRxiv. 2023 Jan 27. pii: 2023.01.26.525791. [Epub ahead of print]
      Lipopolysaccharide (LPS) is a known inducer of inflammatory signaling which triggers generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and cell death in responsive cells like THP-1 promonocytes and freshly isolated human monocytes. A key LPS-responsive metabolic pivot point is the 9.5 megadalton mitochondrial pyruvate dehydrogenase complex (PDC), which provides pyruvate dehydrogenase (E1), lipoamide-linked transacetylase (E2) and lipoamide dehydrogenase (E3) activities to produce acetyl-CoA from pyruvate. While phosphorylation-dependent decreases in PDC activity following LPS treatment or sepsis have been deeply investigated, redox-linked processes have received less attention. Data presented here demonstrate that LPS-induced reversible oxidation within PDC occurs in PDCE2 in both THP-1 cells and primary monocytes. Knockout of PDCE2 by CRISPR and expression of FLAG-tagged PDCE2 in THP-1 cells demonstrated that LPS-induced glutathionylation is associated with wild type PDCE2 but not mutant protein lacking the lipoamide-linking lysine residues. Moreover, the mitochondrially-targeted electrophile MitoCDNB elevates ROS similar to LPS but does not cause PDCE2 glutathionylation. However, both LPS and MitoCDNB together are synergistic for PDCE2 glutathionylation, ROS production, and cell death. These results suggest that glutathionylation on PDCE2 lipoamide sulfurs is a specific modification associated with LPS and cell death which is not recapitulated by a general rise in mitochondrial ROS, but is enhanced after LPS treatment by rising oxidative stress exerted by MitoCDNB that impairs reductase systems.Highlights: PDCE2 is oxidized and glutathionylated (-SSG) during acute inflammation in monocytesPDCE2 knockout cells exhibit decreased ROS production during acute inflammationLipopolysaccharide-induced PDCE2-SSG occurs in THP1 cells and fresh monocytesLipoamide-deficient PDCE2 exhibits lower LPS-induced PDCE2-SSG and ROS productionMitoCDNB leads to ROS production but not PDCE2-SSG, but is synergistic with LPS.
  10. Nat Metab. 2023 Feb 06.
      Metabolism is a fundamental cellular process that is coordinated with cell cycle progression. Despite this association, a mechanistic understanding of cell cycle phase-dependent metabolic pathway regulation remains elusive. Here we report the mechanism by which human de novo pyrimidine biosynthesis is allosterically regulated during the cell cycle. Combining traditional synchronization methods and metabolomics, we characterize metabolites by their accumulation pattern during cell cycle phases and identify cell cycle phase-dependent regulation of carbamoyl-phosphate synthetase 2, aspartate transcarbamylase and dihydroorotase (CAD), the first, rate-limiting enzyme in de novo pyrimidine biosynthesis. Through systematic mutational scanning and structural modelling, we find allostery as a major regulatory mechanism that controls the activity change of CAD during the cell cycle. Specifically, we report evidence of two Animalia-specific loops in the CAD allosteric domain that involve sensing and binding of uridine 5'-triphosphate, a CAD allosteric inhibitor. Based on homology with a mitochondrial carbamoyl-phosphate synthetase homologue, we identify a critical role for a signal transmission loop in regulating the formation of a substrate channel, thereby controlling CAD activity.
  11. Oncogene. 2023 Feb 09.
      Metabolic reprogram is crucial to support cancer cell growth and movement as well as determine cell fate. Mitochondrial protein acetylation regulates mitochondrial metabolism, which is relevant to cancer cell migration and invasion. The functional role of mitochondrial protein acetylation on cancer cell migration remains unclear. General control of amino acid synthesis 5 like-1(GCN5L1), as the regulator of mitochondrial protein acetylation, functions on metabolic reprogramming in mouse livers. In this study, we find that GCN5L1 expression is significantly decreased in metastatic HCC tissues. Loss of GCN5L1 promotes reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation through enhanced fatty acid oxidation (FAO), followed by activation of cellular ERK and DRP1 to promote mitochondrial fission and epithelia to mesenchymal transition (EMT) to boost cell migration. Moreover, palmitate and carnitine-stimulated FAO promotes mitochondrial fission and EMT gene expression to activate HCC cell migration. On the other hand, increased cellular acetyl-CoA level, the product of FAO, enhances HCC cell migration. Taken together, our finding uncovers the metastasis suppressor role as well as the underlying mechanism of GCN5L1 in HCC and also provides evidence of FAO retrograde control of HCC metastasis.
  12. Cell Metab. 2023 Feb 07. pii: S1550-4131(23)00009-8. [Epub ahead of print]35(2): 299-315.e8
      FOXP3+ regulatory T cells (Tregs) are central for peripheral tolerance, and their deregulation is associated with autoimmunity. Dysfunctional autoimmune Tregs display pro-inflammatory features and altered mitochondrial metabolism, but contributing factors remain elusive. High salt (HS) has been identified to alter immune function and to promote autoimmunity. By investigating longitudinal transcriptional changes of human Tregs, we identified that HS induces metabolic reprogramming, recapitulating features of autoimmune Tregs. Mechanistically, extracellular HS raises intracellular Na+, perturbing mitochondrial respiration by interfering with the electron transport chain (ETC). Metabolic disturbance by a temporary HS encounter or complex III blockade rapidly induces a pro-inflammatory signature and FOXP3 downregulation, leading to long-term dysfunction in vitro and in vivo. The HS-induced effect could be reversed by inhibition of mitochondrial Na+/Ca2+ exchanger (NCLX). Our results indicate that salt could contribute to metabolic reprogramming and that short-term HS encounter perturb metabolic fitness and long-term function of human Tregs with important implications for autoimmunity.
    Keywords:  FOXP3; autoimmunity; high salt; mitochondrial respiration; regulatory T cells
  13. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2023 Feb 10. pii: glad056. [Epub ahead of print]
      We generated a genetically heterogenous rat model by a four-way cross strategy using four inbred strains [Brown Norway (BN), Fischer 344 (F344), Lewis (LEW), and Wistar Kyoto (KY)] to provide investigators with a highly genetically diverse rat model from commercially available inbred rats. We made reciprocal crosses between males and females from the two F1 hybrids to generate genetically heterogeneous rats with mitochondrial genomes from either the BN (OKC-HET B, a.k.a "B" genotype) or WKY (OKC-HET W a.k.a "W" genotype) parental strains. These two mitochondrial genomes differ at 94 nucleotides, more akin to human mitochondrial genome diversity than that available in classical laboratory mouse strains. Body weights of the B and W genotypes were similar. However, mitochondrial genotype antagonistically affected grip strength and treadmill endurance in females only. In addition, mitochondrial genotype significantly affected multiple responses to a high-fat diet and treatment with 17α-estradiol. Contrary to findings in mice in which males only are affected by 17α-estradiol supplementation, female rats fed a high-fat diet beneficially responded to 17α-estradiol treatment as evidenced by declines in body mass, adiposity, and liver mass. Male rats, by contrast, differed in a mitochondrial genotype-specific manner, with only B males responding to 17α-estradiol treatment. Mitochondrial genotype and sex differences were also observed in features of brain-specific antioxidant response to a high-fat diet and 17α-estradiol as shown by hippocampal levels of Sod2 acetylation, JNK, and FoxO3a. These results emphasize the importance of mitochondrial genotype in assessing responses to putative interventions in aging processes.
    Keywords:  aging; estrogen; genetic diversity; mitochondria; physical function; sex differences
  14. Cancer Sci. 2023 Feb 06.
      The biological function of many mitochondrial proteins in mechanistic detail has not been well investigated in clear cell renal cell carcinoma (ccRCC). A seven-mitochondrial-gene signature was generated by LASSO regression analysis to improve the prediction of prognosis of patients with ccRCC, using the TCGA and CPTAC cohort. Among those seven genes, EFHD1 is less studied and its role in the progression of ccRCC remains unknown. The decreased expression of EFHD1 was validated in clinical samples and was correlated with unfavorable outcome. Overexpression of EFHD1 in ccRCC cells resulted in the reduction of mitochondrial Ca2+ , and the inhibition of cell migration and invasion in vitro and tumor metastasis in vivo. Mechanistically, EFHD1 physically bound to the core mitochondrial calcium transporter MCU through its N-terminal domain. The interaction of EFHD1 and MCU suppressed the uptake of Ca2+ into mitochondria, and deactivated the Hippo/YAP signaling pathway. Further data revealed that the ectopic expression of EFHD1 upregulated STARD13 to enhance the phosphorylation of YAP protein at Ser-127. The knockdown of STARD13 or the overexpression of MCU partly abrogated the EFHD1-mediated induction of phosphorylation of YAP at Ser-127 and suppression of cell migration. Taken together, the newly identified EFHD1-MCU-STARD13 axis participates in the modulation of Hippo/YAP pathway and serves as a novel regulator in the progression of ccRCC.
    Keywords:  EFHD1; clear cell renal cell carcinoma; mitochondria; prognosis; tumor metastasis
  15. Cancer Metab. 2023 Feb 08. 11(1): 3
      BACKGROUND: Recently, we reported that tamoxifen-resistant (TAM-R) breast cancer cells are cross-resistant to irradiation. Here, we investigated the mechanisms associated with tamoxifen-induced radioresistance, aiming to prevent or reverse resistance and improve breast cancer treatment.METHODS: Wild-type ERα-positive MCF7 and ERα-negative MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells and their TAM-R counterparts were analyzed for cellular metabolism using the Seahorse metabolic analyzer. Real-time ROS production, toxicity, and antioxidant capacity in response to H2O2, tamoxifen, and irradiation were determined. Tumor material from 28 breast cancer patients before and after short-term presurgical tamoxifen ( Identifier: NCT00738777, August 19, 2008) and cellular material was analyzed for NRF2 gene expression and immunohistochemistry. Re-sensitization of TAM-R cells to irradiation was established using pharmacological inhibition.
    RESULTS: TAM-R cells exhibited decreased oxygen consumption and increased glycolysis, suggesting mitochondrial dysfunction. However, this did not explain radioresistance, as cells without mitochondria (Rho-0) were actually more radiosensitive. Real-time measurement of ROS after tamoxifen and H2O2 exposure indicated lower ROS levels and toxicity in TAM-R cells. Consistently, higher antioxidant levels were found in TAM-R cells, providing protection from irradiation-induced ROS. NRF2, a main activator of the antioxidant response, was increased in TAM-R cells and in tumor tissue of patients treated with short-term presurgical tamoxifen. NRF2 inhibition re-sensitized TAM-R cells to irradiation.
    CONCLUSION: Mechanisms underlying tamoxifen-induced radioresistance are linked to cellular adaptations to persistently increased ROS levels, leading to cells with chronically upregulated antioxidant capacity and glycolysis. Pharmacological inhibition of antioxidant responses re-sensitizes breast cancer cells to irradiation.
    Keywords:  Antioxidants; Breast cancer; NRF2; Radiotherapy; Reactive oxygen species; Tamoxifen
  16. Cancers (Basel). 2023 Feb 03. pii: 995. [Epub ahead of print]15(3):
      BACKGROUND & AIMS: In CML, Leukemic Stem Cells (LSCs) that are insensitive to Tyrosine Kinase Inhibitors are responsible for leukemia maintenance and relapses upon TKI treatment arrest. We previously showed that downregulation of the BMI1 polycomb protein that is crucial for stem/progenitor cells self-renewal induced a CCNG2/dependent proliferation arrest leading to elimination of Chronic Myeloid Leukemia (CML) cells. Unfortunately, as of today, pharmacological inhibition of BMI1 has not made its way to the clinic.METHODS: We used the Connectivity Map bioinformatic database to identify pharmacological molecules that could mimick BMI1 silencing, to induce CML cell death. We selected the bis-biguanide Alexidin (ALX) that produced a transcriptomic profile positively correlating with the one obtained after BMI silencing in K562 CML cells. We then evaluated the efficiency of ALX in combination with TKI on CML cells.
    RESULTS: Here we report that cell growth and clonogenic activity of K562 and LAMA-84 CML cell lines were strongly inhibited by ALX. ALX didn't modify BCR::ABL1 phosphorylation and didn't affect BMI1 expression but was able to increase CCNG2 expression leading to autophagic processes that preceed cell death. Besides, ALX could enhance the apoptotic response induced by any Tyrosine Kinase Inhibitors (TKI) of the three generations. We also noted a strong synergism between ALX and TKIs to increase expression of caspase-9 and caspase-3 and induce PARP cleavage, Bad expression and significantly decreased Bcl-xL family member expression. We also observed that the blockage of the mitochondrial respiratory chain by ALX can be associated with inhibition of glycolysis by 2-DG to achieve an enhanced inhibition of K562 proliferation and clonogenicity. ALX specifically affected the differentiation of BCR::ABL1-transduced healthy CD34+ cells but not of mock-infected healthy CD34+ control cells. Importantly, ALX strongly synergized with TKIs to inhibit clonogenicity of primary CML CD34+ cells from diagnosed patients. Long Term Culture of Initiating Cell (LTC-IC) and dilution of the fluorescent marker CFSE allowed us to observe that ALX and Imatinib (IM) partially reduced the number of LSCs by themselves but that the ALX/IM combination drastically reduced this cell compartment. Using an in vivo model of NSG mice intravenously injected with K562-Luciferase transduced CML cells, we showed that ALX combined with IM improved mice survival.
    CONCLUSIONS: Collectively, our results validate the use of ALX bis-biguanide to potentiate the action of conventional TKI treatment as a potential new therapeutic solution to eradicate CML LSCs.
    Keywords:  BMI1; alexidine; apoptosis; chronic myeloid leukemia; leukemic stem/progenitor cells; oxidative metabolism
  17. Environ Sci Pollut Res Int. 2023 Feb 07.
      Long-term exposure to diethylhexyl phthalate (DEHP), an endocrine-disrupting chemical (EDCs) and plasticizer widely used in consumer products, has been reported to be significantly positively correlated with increased risks of different human diseases, including various cancers, while the potential effect of DEHP on colorectal cancer progression was little studied. In the present study, we showed that DEHP could trigger the metabolic reprogramming of colorectal cancer cells, promote cell growth and decrease fluorouracil (5-FU) sensitivity. Mechanistic studies indicated that DEHP could reduce glycolysis activity and increase oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) in SW620 cells. In addition, in vivo experiments showed that DEHP promoted tumorigenic progression and decreased survival time in mice. Collectively, our findings suggest that DEHP may be a potent risk factor for colorectal cancer development.
    Keywords:  Colorectal cancer; Diethylhexyl phthalate; Fluorouracil; Glycolysis; Metabolic reprogramming; Oxidative phosphorylation
  18. Cancers (Basel). 2023 Jan 28. pii: 814. [Epub ahead of print]15(3):
      Cancer continues to be a significant global health issue. Traditional genetic-based approaches to understanding and treating cancer have had limited success. Researchers are increasingly exploring the impact of the environment, specifically inflammation and metabolism, on cancer development. Examining the role of mitochondria in this context is crucial for understanding the connections between metabolic health, physical activity, and cancer. This study aimed to review the literature on this topic through a comprehensive narrative review of various databases including MedLine (PubMed), Cochrane (Wiley), Embase, PsychINFO, and CinAhl. The review highlighted the importance of mitochondrial function in overall health and in regulating key events in cancer development, such as apoptosis. The concept of "mitochondrial fitness" emphasizes the crucial role of mitochondria in cell metabolism, particularly their oxidative functions, and how proper function can prevent replication errors and regulate apoptosis. Engaging in high-energy-demanding movement, such as exercise, is a powerful intervention for improving mitochondrial function and increasing resistance to environmental stressors. These findings support the significance of considering the role of the environment, specifically inflammation and metabolism, in cancer development and treatment. Further research is required to fully understand the mechanisms by which physical activity improves mitochondrial function and potentially reduces the risk of cancer.
    Keywords:  inflammation; metabolism; mitochondria; oxidative stress; physical activity
  19. Autophagy. 2023 Feb 06.
      Drug-tolerant persister (DTP) cancer cells drive residual tumor and relapse. However, the mechanisms underlying DTP state development are largely unexplored. In a recent study, we determined that PINK1-mediated mitophagy favors DTP generation in the context of MAPK inhibition therapy. DTP cells that persist in the presence of a MAPK inhibitor exhibit mitochondria-dependent metabolism. During DTP state development, MYC depletion alleviates the transcriptional repression of PINK1, resulting in PINK1 upregulation and mitophagy activation. PINK1-mediated mitophagy is essential for mitochondrial homeostasis in DTP cells. Either knockdown of PINK1 or mitophagy inhibition eradicates DTP cells and achieves complete responses to MAPK inhibition therapy. This study reveals a novel role of mitophagy as a protective mechanism for DTP development.
    Keywords:  Drug-tolerant persister; MAPK inhibitor; PINK1; mitophagy; quiescent cancer cells
  20. J Cell Sci. 2023 Feb 06. pii: jcs.260612. [Epub ahead of print]
      Mitochondrial homeostasis requires a dynamic balance of fission and fusion. The actin cytoskeleton promotes fission; we find that the mitochondrially-localized myosin, Myosin 19 (Myo19), is integral to this process. Myo19 knock-down induces mitochondrial elongation, while Myo19 overexpression induces fragmentation. This mitochondrial fragmentation is blocked by a Myo19 mutation predicted to inhibit ATPase activity and strong actin binding but not by mutations predicted to affect the motor's working stroke that preserve ATPase activity. Super-resolution imaging indicates a dispersed localization of Myo19 on mitochondria, which we find to be dependent on metaxins. These observations suggest that Myo19 acts as a dynamic actin-binding tether that facilitates mitochondrial fragmentation. Myo19-driven fragmentation is blocked by depletion of either the endoplasmic reticulum (ER)-anchored formin INF2-CAAX or the mitochondrially-localized F-actin nucleator Spire1C, which together polymerize actin at sites of mito-ER contact for fission. These observations imply that Myo19 promotes fission by stabilizing mito-ER contacts; we used a split-luciferase system to demonstrate a reduction in these contacts following Myo19 depletion. Our data support a model in which Myo19 tethers mitochondria to ER-associated actin to promote mitochondrial fission.
    Keywords:  Actin; Endoplasmic reticulum; Fission; Mito-ER contacts; Mitochondria; Myosin
  21. J Clin Invest. 2023 Feb 09. pii: e152401. [Epub ahead of print]
      Sepsis pathogenesis is complex and heterogeneous; hence, a precision medicine strategy is needed. Acute kidney injury (AKI) following sepsis portends higher mortality. Overproduction of mitochondrial reactive oxygen species (mtROS) is a potential mediator of sepsis and sepsis-induced AKI. BAM15, a chemical uncoupler, dissipates mitochondrial proton gradients without generating mtROS. We injected BAM15 into mice at 0, 6, or 12 hours after cecal ligation and puncture (CLP) treated with fluids and antibiotics. BAM15 reduced mortality, even after 12 hours, when mice were ill, and BAM15 reduced kidney damage and splenic apoptosis. Serial plasma and urinary mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) levels increased post-CLP and decreased after BAM15 administration (at 0 or 6 hours). In vitro septic serum proportionately increased mtROS overproduction and mtDNA release from kidney tubule cells, which BAM15 prevented. BAM15 decreased neutrophil apoptosis, mtDNA release; neutrophil depletion counteracted BAM15 benefits. Further, mtDNA injection in vivo replicated inflammation and kidney injury, which was prevented by BAM15. A large dose of exogenous mtDNA reversed protection by BAM15. We conclude that BAM15 is an effective preventive and therapeutic candidate in experimental sepsis, and that BAM15 and mtDNA, a potential drug-companion diagnostic/drug efficacy pair for clinical sepsis, are mechanistically linked via mtROS.
    Keywords:  Innate immunity; Mitochondria; Nephrology
  22. Nat Commun. 2023 Feb 06. 14(1): 638
      The intimate association between the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and mitochondrial membranes at ER-Mitochondria contact sites (ERMCS) is a platform for critical cellular processes, particularly lipid synthesis. How contacts are remodeled and the impact of altered contacts on lipid metabolism remains poorly understood. We show that the p97 AAA-ATPase and its adaptor ubiquitin-X domain adaptor 8 (UBXD8) regulate ERMCS. The p97-UBXD8 complex localizes to contacts and its loss increases contacts in a manner that is dependent on p97 catalytic activity. Quantitative proteomics and lipidomics of ERMCS demonstrates alterations in proteins regulating lipid metabolism and a significant change in membrane lipid saturation upon UBXD8 deletion. Loss of p97-UBXD8 increased membrane lipid saturation via SREBP1 and the lipid desaturase SCD1. Aberrant contacts can be rescued by unsaturated fatty acids or overexpression of SCD1. We find that the SREBP1-SCD1 pathway is negatively impacted in the brains of mice with p97 mutations that cause neurodegeneration. We propose that contacts are exquisitely sensitive to alterations to membrane lipid composition and saturation.
  23. J Transl Med. 2023 Feb 10. 21(1): 107
      BACKGROUND: The incidence and mortality rate of gastrointestinal cancers are high worldwide. Increasing studies have illustrated that the occurrence, progression, metastasis and prognosis of cancers are intimately linked to the immune system. Mitochondria, as the main source of cellular energy, play an important role in maintaining the physiological function of immune cells. However, the relationship between mitochondrial function of immune cells and tumorigenesis has not yet been systematically investigated.METHODS: A total of 150 cases, including 60 healthy donors and 90 primary gastrointestinal cancer patients without anti-tumor treatments (30 with gastric cancer, 30 with liver cancer and 30 with colorectal cancer) were involved in our study. The oxidant/antioxidant and cytokine levels in plasma, the ROS level, mitochondrial function and apoptosis ratio of peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) were evaluated.
    RESULTS: The imbalance between oxidant and antioxidant in plasma was discovered in the primary gastrointestinal cancer patients. The levels of cell reactive oxygen species (ROS) and mitochondrial ROS in PBMCs of primary gastrointestinal cancers were significantly increased compared with that in healthy donors. Meanwhile, the ATP content, the mtDNA copy number and the mitochondrial membrane potential (MMP) in PBMCs of patients with primary gastrointestinal cancers were lower than those in control group. The decreased MMP also occurred in immune cells of gastrointestinal cancers, including T cell, B cell, NK cell and monocyte. Furthermore, the PBMCs apoptosis ratio of primary gastrointestinal cancer patients was significantly higher than that of control group. Importantly, an increase of IL-2 and IL-6 and a decrease of IgG in plasma were found in the patients with primary gastrointestinal cancers. These changes of mitochondrial function in immune cells were consistent among primary gastrointestinal cancers without anti-tumor treatments, such as liver cancer, gastric cancer and colorectal cancer.
    CONCLUSION: Our study demonstrated that the imbalance of oxidation/antioxidation in primary gastrointestinal cancer patients without anti-tumor treatments results in excessive ROS. The oxidative stress was associated to the mitochondrial dysfunction, the apoptosis of immune cells and eventually the abnormal immune function in primary gastrointestinal cancers. The application of immune cell mitochondrial dysfunction into clinical evaluation is anticipated.
    Keywords:  Gastrointestinal cancers; Mitochondrial dysfunction; PBMCs
  24. Aging (Albany NY). 2023 Jan 10. 15
      Breast cancer is an important cause of crisis for women's life and health. Voltage-dependent anion channel 1 (VDAC1) is mainly localized in the outer mitochondrial membrane of all eukaryotes, and it plays a crucial role in the cell as the main interface between mitochondria and cellular metabolism. Through bioinformatics, we found that VDAC1 is abnormally highly expressed in breast cancer, and the prognosis of breast cancer patients with high VDAC1 expression is poor. Through in vivo and in vitro experiments, we found that VDAC1 can promote the proliferation, migration and invasion of breast cancer cells. Further research we found that VDAC1 can activate the wnt signaling pathway. Through analysis, we found that miR-874-3p can regulate the expression of VDAC1, and the expression of miR-874-3p is decreased in breast cancer, resulting in the increase of VDAC1 expression. Our findings will provide new targets and ideas for the prevention and treatment of breast cancer.
    Keywords:  VDAC1; breast cancer; miRNA-874-3p
  25. Br J Haematol. 2023 Feb 08.
      Amino acids in the bone marrow microenvironment (BMME) are a critical factor for multiple myeloma (MM) progression. Here, we have determined that proline is elevated in BMME of MM patients and links to poor prognosis in MM. Moreover, exogenous proline regulates MM cell proliferation and drug resistance. Elevated proline in BMME is due to bone collagen degradation and abnormal expression of the key enzyme of proline catabolism, proline dehydrogenase (PRODH). PRODH is downregulated in MM patients, mainly as a result of promoter hypermethylation with high expression of DNMT3b. Thus, overexpression of PRODH suppresses cell proliferation and drug resistance of MM and exhibits therapeutic potential for treatment of MM. Altogether, we identify proline as a key metabolic regulator of MM, unveil PRODH governing MM progression and provide a promising therapeutic strategy for MM treatment.
    Keywords:  PRODH; drug resistance; multiple myeloma; proline
  26. Exp Ther Med. 2023 Feb;25(2): 99
      Mitochondrial transplantation is a popular field of research in cell-free therapy. Menstrual stem cells (MenSCs) are potential donor cells for provision of foreign mitochondria. The present study aimed to investigate the potential effects of MenSC-derived mitochondria on ovarian cancer from the perspective of protein expression profiling. MenSCs were harvested from menstrual blood. The mitochondria were isolated from MenSCs and ovarian cancer cell line SKOV3. A label-free mitochondria proteomics and analysis were performed by comparing the protein expression in mitochondria of MenSCs and SKOV3 cells. The differentially expressed proteins with fold-change >2 were analyzed by Gene Ontology, Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes pathway and protein domain enrichment, protein interaction networks and parallel reaction monitoring (PRM) analysis. In total, 592 proteins that were found to have increased expression in the mitochondria of MenSCs were analyzed. Functional enrichment analysis revealed these proteins were enriched in metabolism-associated pathway entries including 'oxidative phosphorylation' (OXPHOS) pathway. PRM analysis confirmed that four of 6 candidate proteins in the OXPHOS pathway showed similar increasing trends. The protein domain enrichment analysis showed that domains such as 'thioredoxin domain' were significantly enriched. Based on these findings, it was hypothesized that mitochondria from MenSCs have the potential to enhance progression of ovarian cancer likely mediated by the enrichment of OXPHOS-associated metabolic pathways.
    Keywords:  energy metabolism; menstrual stem cell; mitochondria transplantation; oxidative phosphorylation; proteomics
  27. Oncogene. 2023 Feb 04.
      Cancer cells rely on certain extracellular nutrients to sustain their metabolism and growth. Solute carrier (SLC) transporters enable cells to acquire extracellular nutrients or shuttle intracellular nutrients across organelles. However, the function of many SLC transporters in cancer is unknown. Determining the key SLC transporters promoting cancer growth could reveal important therapeutic opportunities. Here we summarize recent findings and knowledge gaps on SLC transporters in cancer. We highlight existing inhibitors for studying these transporters, clinical trials on treating cancer by blocking transporters, and compensatory transporters used by cancer cells to evade treatment. We propose targeting transporters simultaneously or in combination with targeted therapy or immunotherapy as alternative strategies for effective cancer therapy.
  28. Cancers (Basel). 2023 Jan 25. pii: 745. [Epub ahead of print]15(3):
      Although TP53 mutations in acute myeloid leukemia (AML) are associated with poor response to venetoclax, the underlying resistance mechanism remains unclear. Herein, we investigated the functional role of dynamin-related protein 1 (DRP1) in venetoclax sensitivity in AML cells with respect to TP53 mutation status. Effects of DRP1 inhibition on venetoclax-induced cell death were compared in TP53-mutated (THP-1 and Kasumi-1) and TP53 wild-type leukemia cell lines (MOLM-13 and MV4-11), as well as in primary AML cells obtained from patients. Venetoclax induced apoptosis in TP53 wild-type AML cells but had limited effects in TP53-mutated AML cells. DRP1 expression was downregulated in MOLM-13 cells after venetoclax treatment but was unaffected in THP-1 cells. Cotreatment of THP-1 cells with venetoclax and a TP53 activator NSC59984 downregulated DRP1 expression and increased apoptosis. Combination treatment with the DRP1 inhibitor Mdivi-1 and venetoclax significantly increased mitochondria-mediated apoptosis in TP53-mutated AML cells. The combination of Mdivi-1 and venetoclax resulted in noticeable downregulation of MCL-1 and BCL-xL, accompanied by the upregulation of NOXA, PUMA, BAK, and BAX. These findings suggest that DRP1 is functionally associated with venetoclax sensitivity in TP53-mutated AML cells. Targeting DRP1 may represent an effective therapeutic strategy for overcoming venetoclax resistance in TP53-mutated AML.
    Keywords:  DRP1 inhibition; TP53 mutation; acute myeloid leukemia; mitochondrial apoptosis; venetoclax resistance
  29. J Am Chem Soc. 2023 Feb 06.
      Cancer stem cells (CSCs) are associated with the invasion and metastatic relapse of various cancers. However, current cancer therapies are limited to targeting the bulk of primary tumor cells while remaining the CSCs untouched. Here, we report a new proton (H+) modulation approach to selectively eradicate CSCs via cutting off the H+ leaks on the inner mitochondrial membrane (IMM). Based on the fruit extract of Gardenia jasminoides, a multimodal molecule channel blocker with high biosafety, namely, Bo-Mt-Ge, is developed. Importantly, in this study, we successfully identify that mitochondrial uncoupling protein UCP2 is closely correlated with the stemness of CSCs, which may offer a new perspective for selective CSC drug discovery. Mechanistic studies show that Bo-Mt-Ge can specifically inhibit the UCP2 activities, decrease the H+ influx in the matrix, regulate the electrochemical gradient, and deplete the endogenous GSH, which synergistically constitute a unique MoA to active apoptotic CSC death. Intriguingly, Bo-Mt-Ge also counteracts the therapeutic resistance via a two-pronged tactic: drug efflux pump P-glycoprotein downregulation and antiapoptotic factor (e.g., Bcl-2) inhibition. With these merits, Bo-Mt-Ge proved to be one of the safest and most efficacious anti-CSC agents, with ca. 100-fold more potent than genipin alone in vitro and in vivo. This study offers new insights and promising solutions for future CSC therapies in the clinic.
  30. Trends Immunol. 2023 Feb 02. pii: S1471-4906(23)00017-0. [Epub ahead of print]
      Despite the emergence of mitochondria as key regulators of innate immunity, the mechanisms underlying the generation and release of immunostimulatory alarmins by stressed mitochondria remains nebulous. We propose that the major mitochondrial alarmin in myeloid cells is oxidized mitochondrial DNA (Ox-mtDNA). Fragmented Ox-mtDNA enters the cytosol where it activates the NLRP3 inflammasome and generates IL-1β, IL-18, and cGAS-STING to induce type I interferons and interferon-stimulated genes. Inflammasome activation further enables the circulatory release of Ox-mtDNA by opening gasdermin D pores. We summarize new data showing that, in addition to being an autoimmune disease biomarker, Ox-mtDNA converts beneficial transient inflammation into long-lasting immunopathology. We discuss how Ox-mtDNA induces short- and long-term immune activation, and highlight its homeostatic and immunopathogenic functions.
    Keywords:  NLRP3 inflammasome; Ox-mtDNA; autoimmunity; cGAS–STING; cell-free DNA; immunopathology; inflammation; stressed mitochondria
  31. Immunity. 2023 Jan 31. pii: S1074-7613(23)00021-3. [Epub ahead of print]
      In vitro studies have associated oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) with anti-inflammatory macrophages, whereas pro-inflammatory macrophages rely on glycolysis. However, the metabolic needs of macrophages in tissues (TMFs) to fulfill their homeostatic activities are incompletely understood. Here, we identified OXPHOS as the highest discriminating process among TMFs from different organs in homeostasis by analysis of RNA-seq data in both humans and mice. Impairing OXPHOS in TMFs via Tfam deletion differentially affected TMF populations. Tfam deletion resulted in reduction of alveolar macrophages (AMs) due to impaired lipid-handling capacity, leading to increased cholesterol content and cellular stress, causing cell-cycle arrest in vivo. In obesity, Tfam depletion selectively ablated pro-inflammatory lipid-handling white adipose tissue macrophages (WAT-MFs), thus preventing insulin resistance and hepatosteatosis. Hence, OXPHOS, rather than glycolysis, distinguishes TMF populations and is critical for the maintenance of TMFs with a high lipid-handling activity, including pro-inflammatory WAT-MFs. This could provide a selective therapeutic targeting tool.
    Keywords:  Tfam; cholesterol handling; immunometabolism; obesity; oxidative phosphorylation; pro-inflammatory macrophages; tissue macrophages
  32. Cell Death Dis. 2023 Feb 07. 14(2): 87
      The metabolic pathways through which p53 functions as a potent tumor suppressor are incompletely understood. Here we report that, by associating with the Vitamin D receptor (VDR), p53 induces numerous genes encoding enzymes for peroxisomal fatty acid β-oxidation (FAO). This leads to increased cytosolic acetyl-CoA levels and acetylation of the enzyme 5-Aminoimidazole-4-Carboxamide Ribonucleotide Formyltransferase/IMP Cyclohydrolase (ATIC), which catalyzes the last two steps in the purine biosynthetic pathway. This acetylation step, mediated by lysine acetyltransferase 2B (KAT2B), occurs at ATIC Lys 266, dramatically inhibits ATIC activity, and inversely correlates with colorectal cancer (CRC) tumor growth in vitro and in vivo, and acetylation of ATIC is downregulated in human CRC samples. p53-deficient CRCs with high levels of ATIC is more susceptible to ATIC inhibition. Collectively, these findings link p53 to peroxisomal FAO, purine biosynthesis, and CRC pathogenesis in a manner that is regulated by the levels of ATIC acetylation.
  33. Nat Commun. 2023 Feb 04. 14(1): 619
      Mitochondrial fatty acid synthesis (mtFAS) is essential for respiratory function. MtFAS generates the octanoic acid precursor for lipoic acid synthesis, but the role of longer fatty acid products has remained unclear. The structurally well-characterized component of mtFAS, human 2E-enoyl-ACP reductase (MECR) rescues respiratory growth and lipoylation defects of a Saccharomyces cerevisiae Δetr1 strain lacking native mtFAS enoyl reductase. To address the role of longer products of mtFAS, we employed in silico molecular simulations to design a MECR variant with a shortened substrate binding cavity. Our in vitro and in vivo analyses indicate that the MECR G165Q variant allows synthesis of octanoyl groups but not long chain fatty acids, confirming the validity of our computational approach to engineer substrate length specificity. Furthermore, our data imply that restoring lipoylation in mtFAS deficient yeast strains is not sufficient to support respiration and that long chain acyl-ACPs generated by mtFAS are required for mitochondrial function.
  34. Cancer Discov. 2023 Feb 06. 13(2): 266-268
      SUMMARY: In this issue of Cancer Discovery, Thomas and colleagues leverage mass spectrometry metabolomics, stable isotope labeling, and functional studies to explore metabolic vulnerabilities in cancers harboring mutations in isocitrate dehydrogenase (IDH). The authors present compelling data to support the claim that dysregulated lipid synthesis underpins a synthetic lethal target in cancers with IDH1, but not IDH2, mutations. See related article by Thomas et al., p. 496 (9).
  35. Biochemistry. 2023 Feb 06.
      In aging and disease, cellular nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+) is depleted by catabolism to nicotinamide (NAM). NAD+ supplementation is being pursued to enhance human healthspan and lifespan. Activation of nicotinamide phosphoribosyltransferase (NAMPT), the rate-limiting step in NAD+ biosynthesis, has the potential to increase the salvage of NAM. Novel NAMPT-positive allosteric modulators (N-PAMs) were discovered in addition to the demonstration of NAMPT activation by biogenic phenols. The mechanism of activation was revealed through the synthesis of novel chemical probes, new NAMPT co-crystal structures, and enzyme kinetics. Binding to a rear channel in NAMPT regulates NAM binding and turnover, with biochemical observations being replicated by NAD+ measurements in human cells. The mechanism of action of N-PAMs identifies, for the first time, the role of the rear channel in the regulation of NAMPT turnover coupled to productive and nonproductive NAM binding. The tight regulation of cellular NAMPT via feedback inhibition by NAM, NAD+, and adenosine 5'-triphosphate (ATP) is differentially regulated by N-PAMs and other activators, indicating that different classes of pharmacological activators may be engineered to restore or enhance NAD+ levels in affected tissues.
  36. J Transl Med. 2023 Feb 04. 21(1): 81
      BACKGROUND: Sirtuin 3 (Sirt3) is a controversial regulator of carcinogenesis. It residents in the mitochondria and gradually decays during aging. In this study, we tried to investigate the role of Sirt3 in carcinogenesis and to explore its involvement in metabolic alteration.METHODS: We generated conditional intestinal epithelium Sirt3-knockout mice by crossing ApcMin/+; Villin-Cre with Sirt3fl/fl (AVS) mice. The deacetylation site of Lon protease-1 (LONP1) was identified with Mass spectrometry. The metabolic flux phenotype was determined by Seahorse bioanalyzer.
    RESULTS: We found that intestinal epithelial cell-specific ablation of Sirt3 promotes primary tumor growth via stabilizing mitochondrial LONP1. Notably, we newly identified that Sirt3 deacetylates human oncogene LONP1 at N terminal residue lysine 145 (K145). The LONP1 hyperacetylation-mutant K145Q enhances oxidative phosphorylation to accelerate tumor growth, whereas the deacetylation-mutant K145R produces calorie-restriction like phenotype to restrain tumorigenesis. Sirt3 deacetylates LONP1 at K145 and subsequently facilitates the ESCRT0 complex sorting and K63-ubiquitination that resulted in the degradation of LONP1. Our results sustain the notion that Sirt3 is a tumor-suppressor to maintain the appropriate ubiquitination and degradation of oncogene LONP1.
    CONCLUSION: Sirt3 represents a targetable metabolic checkpoint of oncogenesis, which produces energy restriction effects via maintaining LONP1 K145 deacetylation and subsequent K63 ubiquitination.
    Keywords:  Deacetylation; Energy metabolism; LONP1; Oncogenesis; Sirt3; Ubiquitination
  37. Front Oncol. 2022 ;12 1068994
      The S184 residue of Bax is the target of several protein kinases regulating cell fate, including AKT. It is well-established that, in cellulo, the substitution of S184 by a non-phosphorylatable residue stimulates both the mitochondrial localization of Bax, cytochrome c release, and apoptosis. However, in in vitro experiments, substituted mutants did not exhibit any increase in their binding capacity to isolated mitochondria or liposomes. Despite exhibiting a significant increase of the 6A7 epitope exposure, substituted mutants remain limited in their ability to form large oligomers, suggesting that they high capacity to promote apoptosis in cells was more related to a high content than to an increased ability to form large pores in the outer mitochondrial membranes.
    Keywords:  BCL-2 family; apoptosis; bax; conformationnal changes; mitochondria; phosphorylation