bims-mibica Biomed News
on Mitochondrial bioenergetics in cancer
Issue of 2023‒05‒28
37 papers selected by
Kelsey Fisher-Wellman
East Carolina University

  1. bioRxiv. 2023 May 11. pii: 2023.05.11.540429. [Epub ahead of print]
      Cancer cells reprogram their metabolism to support cell growth and proliferation in harsh environments. While many studies have documented the importance of mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) in tumor growth, some cancer cells experience conditions of reduced OXPHOS in vivo and induce alternative metabolic pathways to compensate. To assess how human cells respond to mitochondrial dysfunction, we performed metabolomics in fibroblasts and plasma from patients with inborn errors of mitochondrial metabolism, and in cancer cells subjected to inhibition of the electron transport chain (ETC). All these analyses revealed extensive perturbations in purine-related metabolites; in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) cells, ETC blockade led to purine metabolite accumulation arising from a reduced cytosolic NAD + /NADH ratio (NADH reductive stress). Stable isotope tracing demonstrated that ETC deficiency suppressed de novo purine nucleotide synthesis while enhancing purine salvage. Analysis of NSCLC patients infused with [U- 13 C]glucose revealed that tumors with markers of low oxidative mitochondrial metabolism exhibited high expression of the purine salvage enzyme HPRT1 and abundant levels of the HPRT1 product inosine monophosphate (IMP). ETC blockade also induced production of ribose-5' phosphate (R5P) by the pentose phosphate pathway (PPP) and import of purine nucleobases. Blocking either HPRT1 or nucleoside transporters sensitized cancer cells to ETC inhibition, and overexpressing nucleoside transporters was sufficient to drive growth of NSCLC xenografts. Collectively, this study mechanistically delineates how cells compensate for suppressed purine metabolism in response to ETC blockade, and uncovers a new metabolic vulnerability in tumors experiencing NADH excess.
  2. Antioxidants (Basel). 2023 Apr 25. pii: 992. [Epub ahead of print]12(5):
      The mitochondrion is the primary energy generator of a cell and is a central player in cellular redox regulation. Mitochondrial reactive oxygen species (mtROS) are the natural byproducts of cellular respiration that are critical for the redox signaling events that regulate a cell's metabolism. These redox signaling pathways primarily rely on the reversible oxidation of the cysteine residues on mitochondrial proteins. Several key sites of this cysteine oxidation on mitochondrial proteins have been identified and shown to modulate downstream signaling pathways. To further our understanding of mitochondrial cysteine oxidation and to identify uncharacterized redox-sensitive cysteines, we coupled mitochondrial enrichment with redox proteomics. Briefly, differential centrifugation methods were used to enrich for mitochondria. These purified mitochondria were subjected to both exogenous and endogenous ROS treatments and analyzed by two redox proteomics methods. A competitive cysteine-reactive profiling strategy, termed isoTOP-ABPP, enabled the ranking of the cysteines by their redox sensitivity, due to a loss of reactivity induced by cysteine oxidation. A modified OxICAT method enabled a quantification of the percentage of reversible cysteine oxidation. Initially, we assessed the cysteine oxidation upon treatment with a range of exogenous hydrogen peroxide concentrations, which allowed us to differentiate the mitochondrial cysteines by their susceptibility to oxidation. We then analyzed the cysteine oxidation upon inducing reactive oxygen species generation via the inhibition of the electron transport chain. Together, these methods identified the mitochondrial cysteines that were sensitive to endogenous and exogenous ROS, including several previously known redox-regulated cysteines and uncharacterized cysteines on diverse mitochondrial proteins.
    Keywords:  OxICAT; ROS; cysteine; isoTOP-ABPP; mass spectrometry; mitochondria; oxidation
  3. Blood. 2023 May 22. pii: blood.2022019056. [Epub ahead of print]
      Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is an aggressive hematological malignancy. Nearly 50% of patients who receive the most intensive treatment inevitably suffer disease relapse, likely resulting from the persistence of drug‑resistant leukemia stem cells (LSCs). AML cells especially LSCs are highly dependent on mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) for survival, but the mechanism involved in OXPHOS hyperactivity is unclear and a noncytotoxic strategy to inhibit OXPHOS is lacking. Here, we demonstrate for the first time that ZDHHC21 palmitoyltransferase serves as a key regulator of OXPHOS hyperactivity in AML cells. The depletion/inhibition of ZDHHC21 effectively induced myeloid differentiation and weakened stemness potential by inhibiting OXPHOS in AML cells. Interestingly, FLT3-ITD mutated AML cells expressed significantly higher levels of ZDHHC21 and exhibited better sensitivity to ZDHHC21 inhibition. Mechanistically, ZDHHC21 specifically catalyzed the palmitoylation of mitochondrial kinase AK2 and further activated OXPHOS in leukemic blasts. Inhibition of ZDHHC21 arrested the in vivo growth of AML cells and extended the survival of mice inoculated with AML cell lines and PDX-AML blasts. Moreover, targeting ZDHHC21 to suppress OXPHOS markedly eradicated AML blasts and enhanced chemotherapy efficacy in relapsed/refractory leukemia. Together, these findings not only uncover a new biological function of palmitoyltransferase ZDHHC21 in regulating AML oxidative phosphorylation, but also indicate that ZDHHC21 inhibition is a promising therapeutic regimen for patients with AML, especially relapsed/refractory leukemia.
  4. Free Radic Biol Med. 2023 May 20. pii: S0891-5849(23)00445-8. [Epub ahead of print]204 276-286
      We developed S1QEL1.719, a novel bioavailable S1QEL (suppressor of site IQ electron leak). S1QEL1.719 prevented superoxide/hydrogen peroxide production at site IQ of mitochondrial complex I in vitro. The free concentration giving half-maximal suppression (IC50) was 52 nM. Even at 50-fold higher concentrations S1QEL1.719 did not inhibit superoxide/hydrogen peroxide production from other sites. The IC50 for inhibition of complex I electron flow was 500-fold higher than the IC50 for suppression of superoxide/hydrogen peroxide production from site IQ. S1QEL1.719 was used to test the metabolic effects of suppressing superoxide/hydrogen peroxide production from site IQin vivo. C57BL/6J male mice fed a high-fat chow for one, two or eight weeks had increased body fat, decreased glucose tolerance, and increased fasting insulin concentrations, classic symptoms of metabolic syndrome. Daily prophylactic or therapeutic oral treatment of high-fat-fed animals with S1QEL1.719 decreased fat accumulation, strongly protected against decreased glucose tolerance and prevented or reversed the increase in fasting insulin level. Free exposures in plasma and liver at Cmax were 1-4 fold the IC50 for suppression of superoxide/hydrogen peroxide production at site IQ and substantially below levels that inhibit electron flow through complex I. These results show that the production of superoxide/hydrogen peroxide from mitochondrial site IQin vivo is necessary for the induction and maintenance of glucose intolerance caused by a high-fat diet in mice. They raise the possibility that oral administration of S1QELs may be beneficial in metabolic syndrome.
    Keywords:  Complex I; Glucose tolerance; Insulin; Mitochondria; Reactive oxygen species; S1QEL
  5. Redox Biol. 2023 May 15. pii: S2213-2317(23)00141-6. [Epub ahead of print]63 102740
      Mitochondrial supercomplexes are observed in mammalian tissues with high energy demand and may influence metabolism and redox signaling. Nevertheless, the mechanisms that regulate supercomplex abundance remain unclear. In this study, we examined the composition of supercomplexes derived from murine cardiac mitochondria and determined how their abundance changes with substrate provision or by genetically induced changes to the cardiac glucose-fatty acid cycle. Protein complexes from digitonin-solubilized cardiac mitochondria were resolved by blue-native polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis and were identified by mass spectrometry and immunoblotting to contain constituents of Complexes I, III, IV, and V as well as accessory proteins involved in supercomplex assembly and stability, cristae architecture, carbohydrate and fat oxidation, and oxidant detoxification. Respiratory analysis of high molecular mass supercomplexes confirmed the presence of intact respirasomes, capable of transferring electrons from NADH to O2. Provision of respiratory substrates to isolated mitochondria augmented supercomplex abundance, with fatty acyl substrate (octanoylcarnitine) promoting higher supercomplex abundance than carbohydrate-derived substrate (pyruvate). Mitochondria isolated from transgenic hearts that express kinase-deficient 6-phosphofructo-2-kinase/fructose-2,6-bisphosphatase (GlycoLo), which decreases glucose utilization and increases reliance on fatty acid oxidation for energy, had higher mitochondrial supercomplex abundance and activity compared with mitochondria from wild-type or phosphatase-deficient 6-phosphofructo-2-kinase/fructose-2,6-bisphosphatase-expressing hearts (GlycoHi), the latter of which encourages reliance on glucose catabolism for energy. These findings indicate that high energetic reliance on fatty acid catabolism bolsters levels of mitochondrial supercomplexes, supporting the idea that the energetic state of the heart is regulatory factor in supercomplex assembly or stability.
    Keywords:  Glycolysis; Heart; Metabolism; Mitochondria; Respirasome; Supercomplex
  6. Front Genet. 2023 ;14 1192799
      Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is a heterogeneous and deadly disease characterized by uncontrolled expansion of malignant blasts. Altered metabolism and dysregulated microRNA (miRNA) expression profiles are both characteristic of AML. However, there is a paucity of studies exploring how changes in the metabolic state of the leukemic cells regulate miRNA expression leading to altered cellular behavior. Here, we blocked pyruvate entry into mitochondria by deleting the Mitochondria Pyruvate Carrier (MPC1) gene in human AML cell lines, which decreased Oxidative Phosphorylation (OXPHOS). This metabolic shift also led to increased expression of miR-1 in the human AML cell lines tested. AML patient sample datasets showed that higher miR-1 expression correlates with reduced survival. Transcriptional and metabolic profiling of miR-1 overexpressing AML cells revealed that miR-1 increased OXPHOS, along with key metabolites that fuel the TCA cycle such as glutamine and fumaric acid. Inhibition of glutaminolysis decreased OXPHOS in miR-1 overexpressing MV4-11 cells, highlighting that miR-1 promotes OXPHOS through glutaminolysis. Finally, overexpression of miR-1 in AML cells exacerbated disease in a mouse xenograft model. Together, our work expands current knowledge within the field by uncovering novel connections between AML cell metabolism and miRNA expression that facilitates disease progression. Further, our work points to miR-1 as a potential new therapeutic target that may be used to disrupt AML cell metabolism and thus pathogenesis in the clinic.
    Keywords:  OxPhos; acute myeloid leukemia; hematological malignancies; microRNA-1; prognostic biomarker
  7. EMBO Mol Med. 2023 May 24. e16951
      Mitochondrial diseases are a heterogeneous group of monogenic disorders that result from impaired oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS). As neuromuscular tissues are highly energy-dependent, mitochondrial diseases often affect skeletal muscle. Although genetic and bioenergetic causes of OXPHOS impairment in human mitochondrial myopathies are well established, there is a limited understanding of metabolic drivers of muscle degeneration. This knowledge gap contributes to the lack of effective treatments for these disorders. Here, we discovered fundamental muscle metabolic remodeling mechanisms shared by mitochondrial disease patients and a mouse model of mitochondrial myopathy. This metabolic remodeling is triggered by a starvation-like response that evokes accelerated oxidation of amino acids through a truncated Krebs cycle. While initially adaptive, this response evolves in an integrated multiorgan catabolic signaling, lipid store mobilization, and intramuscular lipid accumulation. We show that this multiorgan feed-forward metabolic response involves leptin and glucocorticoid signaling. This study elucidates systemic metabolic dyshomeostasis mechanisms that underlie human mitochondrial myopathies and identifies potential new targets for metabolic intervention.
    Keywords:  amino acid metabolism; glucocorticoids; leptin; mitochondrial myopathy; muscle wasting
  8. bioRxiv. 2023 May 09. pii: 2023.05.07.539744. [Epub ahead of print]
      Tumor angiogenesis is a cancer hallmark, and its therapeutic inhibition has provided meaningful, albeit limited, clinical benefit. While anti-angiogenesis inhibitors deprive the tumor of oxygen and essential nutrients, cancer cells activate metabolic adaptations to diminish therapeutic response. Despite these adaptations, angiogenesis inhibition incurs extensive metabolic stress, prompting us to consider such metabolic stress as an induced vulnerability to therapies targeting cancer metabolism. Metabolomic profiling of angiogenesis-inhibited intracranial xenografts showed universal decrease in tricarboxylic acid cycle intermediates, corroborating a state of anaplerotic nutrient deficit or stress. Accordingly, we show strong synergy between angiogenesis inhibitors (Avastin, Tivozanib) and inhibitors of glycolysis or oxidative phosphorylation through exacerbation of anaplerotic nutrient stress in intracranial orthotopic xenografted gliomas. Our findings were recapitulated in GBM xenografts that do not have genetically predisposed metabolic vulnerabilities at baseline. Thus, our findings cement the central importance of the tricarboxylic acid cycle as the nexus of metabolic vulnerabilities and suggest clinical path hypothesis combining angiogenesis inhibitors with pharmacological cancer interventions targeting tumor metabolism for GBM tumors.
  9. iScience. 2023 Jun 16. 26(6): 106788
      Mitochondria produce reactive oxygen species (ROS), which function in signal transduction. Mitochondrial dynamics, encompassing morphological shifts between fission and fusion, can directly impact ROS levels in cancer cells. In this study, we identified an ROS-dependent mechanism for how enhanced mitochondrial fission inhibits triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) cell migration. We found that enforcing mitochondrial fission in TNBC resulted in an increase in intracellular ROS levels and reduced cell migration and the formation of actin-rich migratory structures. Consistent with mitochondrial fission, increasing ROS levels in cells inhibited cell migration. Conversely, reducing ROS levels with either a global or mitochondrially targeted scavenger overcame the inhibitory effects of mitochondrial fission. Mechanistically, we found that the ROS sensitive SHP-1/2 phosphatases partially regulate inhibitory effects of mitochondrial fission on TNBC migration. Overall, our work reveals the inhibitory effects of ROS in TNBC and supports mitochondrial dynamics as a potential therapeutic target for cancer.
    Keywords:  Cancer; Cell biology
  10. Commun Biol. 2023 May 22. 6(1): 548
      Human mitochondrial NAD(P)+-dependent malic enzyme (ME2) is well-known for its role in cell metabolism, which may be involved in cancer or epilepsy. We present potent ME2 inhibitors based on cyro-EM structures that target ME2 enzyme activity. Two structures of ME2-inhibitor complexes demonstrate that 5,5'-Methylenedisalicylic acid (MDSA) and embonic acid (EA) bind allosterically to ME2's fumarate-binding site. Mutagenesis studies demonstrate that Asn35 and the Gln64-Tyr562 network are required for both inhibitors' binding. ME2 overexpression increases pyruvate and NADH production while decreasing the cell's NAD+/NADH ratio; however, ME2 knockdown has the opposite effect. MDSA and EA inhibit pyruvate synthesis and thus increase the NAD+/NADH ratio, implying that these two inhibitors interfere with metabolic changes by inhibiting cellular ME2 activity. ME2 silence or inhibiting ME2 activity with MDSA or EA decreases cellular respiration and ATP synthesis. Our findings suggest that ME2 is crucial for mitochondrial pyruvate and energy metabolism, as well as cellular respiration, and that ME2 inhibitors could be useful in the treatment of cancer or other diseases that involve these processes.
  11. Free Radic Biol Med. 2023 May 22. pii: S0891-5849(23)00426-4. [Epub ahead of print]
      Pyruvate dehydrogenase (PDH) and α-ketoglutarate dehydrogenase (KGDH) are vital sources of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) and key sites for redox regulation. Here, we report KGDH is more sensitive to inhibition by S-nitroso-glutathione (GSNO) when compared to PDH and deactivation of both enzymes by nitro modification is affected by sex and diet. Liver mitochondria from male C57BL/6N mice displayed a robust inhibition of H2O2 production after exposure to 500-2000 μM GSNO. H2O2 genesis by PDH was not significantly affected by GSNO. Purified KGDH of porcine heart origin displayed a ∼82% decrease in H2O2 generating activity at 500 μM GSNO, which was mirrored by a decrease in NADH production. By contrast, H2O2- and NADH-producing activity of purified PDH was only minimally affected by an incubation in 500 μM GSNO. Incubations in GSNO had no significant effect on the H2O2-generating activity of KGDH and PDH in female liver mitochondria when compared to samples collected from males, which was attributed to higher GSNO reductase (GSNOR) activity. High fat feeding augmented the GSNO-mediated inhibition of KGDH in liver mitochondria from male mice. Exposure of male mice to a HFD also resulted in a significant decrease in the GSNO-mediated inhibition of H2O2 genesis by PDH, an effect not observed in mice fed a control-matched diet (CD). Female mice displayed higher resistance to the GSNO-induced inhibition of H2O2 production, regardless of being fed a CD or HFD. However, exposure to a HFD did result in a small but significant decrease in H2O2 production by KGDH and PDH when female liver mitochondria were treated with GSNO. Although, the effect was less when compared to their male counterparts. Collectively, we show for the first time GSNO deactivates H2O2 production by α-keto acid dehydrogenases and we demonstrate that sex and diet are determinants for the nitro-inhibition of both KGDH and PDH.
  12. Exp Cell Res. 2023 May 24. pii: S0014-4827(23)00212-4. [Epub ahead of print] 113665
      Heterotypic cell-in-cell structure (CICs) is the definition of the entry of one type of living cells into another type of cell. CICs between immune cells and tumor cells have been found to correlate with malignancy in many cancers. Since tumor immune microenvironment promotes non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) progression and drug resistance, we wondered the potential significance of heterotypic CICs in NSCLC. Heterotypic CICs was analyzed by histochemistry in an expanded spectrum of clinical lung cancer tissue specimens. In vitro study was performed using the mouse lung cancer cell line LLC and splenocytes. Our results revealed that CICs formed by lung cancer cells and infiltrated lymphocytes were correlated with malignancy of NSCLC. In addition, we found CICs mediated the transfer of lymphocyte mitochondria to tumor cells, and promoted cancer cell proliferation and anti-cytotoxicity by activating MAPK pathway and up-regulating PD-L1 expression. Furthermore, CICs induces glucose metabolism reprogramming of lung cancer cells by upregulating glucose intake and glycolytic enzyme. Our findings suggest that CICs formed by lung cancer cell and lymphocyte contribute to NSCLC progression and reprogramming of glucose metabolism, and might represent a previously undescribed pathway for drug resistance of NSCLC.
    Keywords:  Cell-in-cell; Mitochondria transfer; Non-small cell lung cancer; Reprogramming of glucose metabolism; Tumor immune microenvironment
  13. Nat Commun. 2023 May 20. 14(1): 2897
      Malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) has relatively ineffective first/second-line therapy for advanced disease and only 18% five-year survival for early disease. Drug-induced mitochondrial priming measured by dynamic BH3 profiling identifies efficacious drugs in multiple disease settings. We use high throughput dynamic BH3 profiling (HTDBP) to identify drug combinations that prime primary MPM cells derived from patient tumors, which also prime patient derived xenograft (PDX) models. A navitoclax (BCL-xL/BCL-2/BCL-w antagonist) and AZD8055 (mTORC1/2 inhibitor) combination demonstrates efficacy in vivo in an MPM PDX model, validating HTDBP as an approach to identify efficacious drug combinations. Mechanistic investigation reveals AZD8055 treatment decreases MCL-1 protein levels, increases BIM protein levels, and increases MPM mitochondrial dependence on BCL-xL, which is exploited by navitoclax. Navitoclax treatment increases dependency on MCL-1 and increases BIM protein levels. These findings demonstrate that HTDBP can be used as a functional precision medicine tool to rationally construct combination drug regimens in MPM and other cancers.
  14. Eur J Med Chem. 2023 May 18. pii: S0223-5234(23)00470-1. [Epub ahead of print]257 115504
      Alterations in cancer metabolic pathways open up an opportunity for targeted and effective elimination of tumor cells. Pyruvate kinase M2 (PKM2) is predominantly expressed in proliferating cells and plays an essential role in directing glucose metabolism in cancer. Here, we report the design of novel class of selective PKM2 inhibitors as anti-cancer agents and their mechanism of action. Compound 5c being the most active with IC50 = 0.35 ± 0.07 μM, also downregulates PKM2 mRNA expression, modulates mitochondrial functionality, induces oxidative burst and is cytotoxic for various cancer types. Isoselenazolium chlorides have an unusual mechanism of PKM2 inhibition, inducing a functionally deficient tetrameric assembly, while exhibiting a competitive inhibitor character. The discovery of robust PKM2 inhibitors not only offers candidates for anticancer therapy but is also crucial for studying the role of PKM2 in cancer.
    Keywords:  Cancer; Metabolic reprogramming; Pyruvate kinase M2; Selenium
  15. Int J Mol Sci. 2023 May 22. pii: 9106. [Epub ahead of print]24(10):
      A small protein, Mitoregulin (Mtln), localizes in mitochondria and contributes to oxidative phosphorylation and fatty acid metabolism. Mtln knockout mice develop obesity on a high-fat diet, demonstrating elevated cardiolipin damage and suboptimal creatine kinase oligomerization in muscle tissue. Kidneys heavily depend on the oxidative phosphorylation in mitochondria. Here we report kidney-related phenotypes in aged Mtln knockout mice. Similar to Mtln knockout mice muscle mitochondria, those of the kidney demonstrate a decreased respiratory complex I activity and excessive cardiolipin damage. Aged male mice carrying Mtln knockout demonstrated an increased frequency of renal proximal tubules' degeneration. At the same time, a decreased glomerular filtration rate has been more frequently detected in aged female mice devoid of Mtln. An amount of Mtln partner protein, Cyb5r3, is drastically decreased in the kidneys of Mtln knockout mice.
    Keywords:  kidney; metabolism; mitochondria; mitoregulin; oxidative phosphorylation; small peptide
  16. J Vis Exp. 2023 05 05.
      The vast majority of cellular processes require a continuous supply of energy, the most common carrier of which is the ATP molecule. Eukaryotic cells produce most of their ATP in the mitochondria by oxidative phosphorylation. Mitochondria are unique organelles because they have their own genome that is replicated and passed on to the next generation of cells. In contrast to the nuclear genome, there are multiple copies of the mitochondrial genome in the cell. The detailed study of the mechanisms responsible for the replication, repair, and maintenance of the mitochondrial genome is essential for understanding the proper functioning of mitochondria and whole cells under both normal and disease conditions. Here, a method that allows the high-throughput quantification of the synthesis and distribution of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) in human cells cultured in vitro is presented. This approach is based on the immunofluorescence detection of actively synthesized DNA molecules labeled by 5-bromo-2'-deoxyuridine (BrdU) incorporation and the concurrent detection of all the mtDNA molecules with anti-DNA antibodies. Additionally, the mitochondria are visualized with specific dyes or antibodies. The culturing of cells in a multi-well format and the utilization of an automated fluorescence microscope make it easier to study the dynamics of mtDNA and the morphology of mitochondria under a variety of experimental conditions in a relatively short time.
  17. J Physiol Biochem. 2023 May 22.
      Three-dimensional (3D) extracellular matrix (ECM) microenvironment is an important regulator of the stiffness of the tumors. Cancer cells require heterogeneous metabolic phenotypes to cope with resistance in the malignant process. However, how the stiffness of the matrix affects the metabolic phenotypes of cancer cells, is lacking. In this study, the young's modulus of the synthesized collagen-chitosan scaffolds was adjusted according to the percentage ratio of collagen to chitosan. We cultured non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) cells in four different microenvironments (two-dimensional (2D) plates, stiffest 0.5-0.5 porous collagen-chitosan scaffolds, middle stiff 0.5-1 porous collagen-chitosan scaffolds, and softest 0.5-2 porous collagen-chitosan scaffolds) to investigate the influence of the difference of 2D and 3D cultures as well as the 3D scaffolds with different stiffnesses on the metabolic dependency of NSCLC cells. The results revealed that NSCLC cells cultured in 3D collagen-chitosan scaffolds displayed higher capacity of mitochondrial metabolism and fatty acid metabolism than that cultured in 2D culture. The metabolic response of NSCLC cells is differential for 3D scaffolds with different stiffnesses. The cells cultured in middle stiff 0.5-1 scaffolds displayed a higher potential of mitochondrial metabolism than that of stiffer 0.5-0.5 scaffolds and softer 0.5-2 scaffolds. Furthermore, NSCLC cells culture in 3D scaffolds displayed drug resistance compared with that in 2D culture which maybe via the hyperactivation of the mTOR pathway. Moreover, the cells cultured in 0.5-1 scaffolds showed higher ROS levels, which were counterbalanced by an equally high expression of antioxidant enzymes when compared to the cells grown in 2D culture, which may be regulated by the increased expression of PGC-1α. Together, these results demonstrate that differences in the microenvironments of cancer cells profoundly impact their metabolic dependencies.
    Keywords:  Collagen-chitosan scaffolds; Extracellular matrix; Glycolysis; Metabolic phenotypes; Mitochondrial metabolism; Non-small cell lung cancer cells; Stiffness
  18. Front Oncol. 2023 ;13 1161254
      Introduction: Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) cells are metabolically flexible and adapt to modern anticancer treatments. Bruton tyrosine kinase (BTK) and B-cell lymphoma-2 (BCL-2) inhibitors have been widely used to treat CLL, but CLL cells become resistant to these treatments over time. CB-839 is a small-molecule glutaminase-1 (GLS-1) inhibitor that impairs glutamine use, disrupts downstream energy metabolism, and impedes the elimination of reactive oxygen species.Methods: To investigate the in vitro effects of CB-839 on CLL cells, we tested CB-839 alone and in combination with ibrutinib, venetoclax, or AZD-5991 on the HG-3 and MEC-1 CLL cell lines and on primary CLL lymphocytes.
    Results: We found that CB-839 caused dose-dependent decreases in GLS-1 activity and glutathione synthesis. CB-839-treated cells also showed increased mitochondrial superoxide metabolism and impaired energy metabolism, which were reflected in decreases in the oxygen consumption rate and depletion of the adenosine triphosphate pool and led to the inhibition of cell proliferation. In the cell lines, CB-839 combined with venetoclax or AZD-5991, but not with ibrutinib, demonstrated synergism with an increased apoptosis rate and cell proliferation inhibition. In the primary lymphocytes, no significant effects of CB-839 alone or in combination with venetoclax, ibrutinib, or AZD-5991 were observed.
    Discussion: Our findings suggest that CB-839 has limited efficacy in CLL treatment and shows limited synergy in combination with widely used CLL drugs.
    Keywords:  BTK - Bruton’s tyrosine kinase; Bcl-2 inhibitor; CLL - chronic lymphoblastic leukemia; Mcl-1 inhibitor; glutamine (Gln) metabolism; ibrutinib; venetoclax
  19. Biomolecules. 2023 May 10. pii: 808. [Epub ahead of print]13(5):
      The human mitochondrial carrier family (MCF) consists of 53 members. Approximately one-fifth of them are still orphans of a function. Most mitochondrial transporters have been functionally characterized by reconstituting the bacterially expressed protein into liposomes and transport assays with radiolabeled compounds. The efficacy of this experimental approach is constrained to the commercial availability of the radiolabeled substrate to be used in the transport assays. A striking example is that of N-acetylglutamate (NAG), an essential regulator of the carbamoyl synthetase I activity and the entire urea cycle. Mammals cannot modulate mitochondrial NAG synthesis but can regulate the levels of NAG in the matrix by exporting it to the cytosol, where it is degraded. The mitochondrial NAG transporter is still unknown. Here, we report the generation of a yeast cell model suitable for identifying the putative mammalian mitochondrial NAG transporter. In yeast, the arginine biosynthesis starts in the mitochondria from NAG which is converted to ornithine that, once transported into cytosol, is metabolized to arginine. The deletion of ARG8 makes yeast cells unable to grow in the absence of arginine since they cannot synthetize ornithine but can still produce NAG. To make yeast cells dependent on a mitochondrial NAG exporter, we moved most of the yeast mitochondrial biosynthetic pathway to the cytosol by expressing four E. coli enzymes, argB-E, able to convert cytosolic NAG to ornithine. Although argB-E rescued the arginine auxotrophy of arg8∆ strain very poorly, the expression of the bacterial NAG synthase (argA), which would mimic the function of a putative NAG transporter increasing the cytosolic levels of NAG, fully rescued the growth defect of arg8∆ strain in the absence of arginine, demonstrating the potential suitability of the model generated.
    Keywords:  N-acetylglutamate; mitochondrial carriers; urea cycle; yeast cell model
  20. Elife. 2023 May 23. pii: e78335. [Epub ahead of print]12
      Metabolic scaling, the inverse correlation of metabolic rates to body mass, has been appreciated for more than 80 years. Studies of metabolic scaling have largely been restricted to mathematical modeling of caloric intake and oxygen consumption, and mostly rely on computational modeling. The possibility that other metabolic processes scale with body size has not been comprehensively studied. To address this gap in knowledge, we employed a systems approach including transcriptomics, proteomics, and measurement of in vitro and in vivo metabolic fluxes. Gene expression in livers of five species spanning a 30,000-fold range in mass revealed differential expression according to body mass of genes related to cytosolic and mitochondrial metabolic processes, and to detoxication of oxidative damage. To determine whether flux through key metabolic pathways is ordered inversely to body size, we applied stable isotope tracer methodology to study multiple cellular compartments, tissues, and species. Comparing C57BL/6 J mice with Sprague-Dawley rats, we demonstrate that while ordering of metabolic fluxes is not observed in in vitro cell-autonomous settings, it is present in liver slices and in vivo. Together, these data reveal that metabolic scaling extends beyond oxygen consumption to other aspects of metabolism, and is regulated at the level of gene and protein expression, enzyme activity, and substrate supply.
    Keywords:  biochemistry; chemical biology; liver metabolism; metabolic flux; metabolic scaling; mouse; rat
  21. Antioxidants (Basel). 2023 May 12. pii: 1087. [Epub ahead of print]12(5):
      Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) is particularly vulnerable to somatic mutagenesis. Potential mechanisms include DNA polymerase γ (POLG) errors and the effects of mutagens, such as reactive oxygen species. Here, we studied the effects of transient hydrogen peroxide (H2O2 pulse) on mtDNA integrity in cultured HEK 293 cells, applying Southern blotting, ultra-deep short-read and long-read sequencing. In wild-type cells, 30 min after the H2O2 pulse, linear mtDNA fragments appear, representing double-strand breaks (DSB) with ends characterized by short GC stretches. Intact supercoiled mtDNA species reappear within 2-6 h after treatment and are almost completely recovered after 24 h. BrdU incorporation is lower in H2O2-treated cells compared to non-treated cells, suggesting that fast recovery is not associated with mtDNA replication, but is driven by rapid repair of single-strand breaks (SSBs) and degradation of DSB-generated linear fragments. Genetic inactivation of mtDNA degradation in exonuclease deficient POLG p.D274A mutant cells results in the persistence of linear mtDNA fragments with no impact on the repair of SSBs. In conclusion, our data highlight the interplay between the rapid processes of SSB repair and DSB degradation and the much slower mtDNA re-synthesis after oxidative damage, which has important implications for mtDNA quality control and the potential generation of somatic mtDNA deletions.
    Keywords:  mitochondrial DNA; mtDNA degradation; mtDNA double-strand breaks mtDNA single-strand breaks; oxidative damage
  22. Br J Haematol. 2023 May 25.
      Glutamine metabolic reprogramming in acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) cells contributes to the decreased sensitivity to antileukemic drugs. Leukaemic cells, but not their myeloid counterparts, largely depend on glutamine. Glutamate dehydrogenase 1 (GDH1) is a regulation enzyme in glutaminolysis. However, its role in AML remains unknown. Here, we reported that GDH1 was highly expressed in AML: high GDH1 was one of the independent negative prognostic factors in AML cohort. The dependence of leukaemic cells on GDH1 was proved both in vitro and in vivo. High GDH1 promoted cell proliferation and reduced survival time of leukaemic mice. Targeting GDH1 eliminated the blast cells and delayed AML progression. Mechanistically, GDH1 knockdown inhibited glutamine uptake by downregulating SLC1A5. Moreover, GDH1 invalidation also inhibited SLC3A2 and abrogated the cystine-glutamate antiporter system Xc- . The reduced cystine and glutamine disrupted the synthesis of glutathione (GSH) and led to the dysfunction of glutathione peroxidase-4 (GPX4), which maintains the lipid peroxidation homeostasis by using GSH as a co-factor. Collectively, triggering ferroptosis in AML cells in a GSH depletion manner, GDH1 inhibition was synthetically lethal with the chemotherapy drug cytarabine. Ferroptosis induced by inhibiting GDH1 provides an actionable therapeutic opportunity and a unique target for synthetic lethality to facilitate the elimination of malignant AML cells.
    Keywords:  acute myeloid leukaemia; ferroptosis; glutamate dehydrogenase 1; glutathione
  23. Free Radic Biol Med. 2023 May 20. pii: S0891-5849(23)00421-5. [Epub ahead of print]
      Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the third most common cause of cancer mortality worldwide. Approximately 40% of CRC patients are KRAS sequence variation, including KRAS G13D mutation (KRASG13D) CRC patients, accounting for approximately 8% of all KRAS mutations in CRC patients and showing little benefit from anti-EGFR therapy. Therefore, there is an urgent need for new and effective anticancer agents in patients with KRASG13D CRC. Here, we identified a natural product, erianin, that directly interacted with purified recombinant human KRASG13D with a Kd of 1.1163 μM, which also significantly improve the thermal stability of KRASG13D. The cell viability assay showed that KRASG13D cells were more sensitive to erianin than KRASWT or KRASG12V cells. In vitro, results showed that erianin suppressed the migration, invasion and epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) of KRASG13D CRC cells. Furthermore, erianin induced ferroptosis, as evidenced by the accumulation of Fe2+ and reactive oxygen species (ROS), lipid peroxidation, and changes in the mitochondrial morphology of KRASG13D CRC cells. Interestingly, we also found that erianin-induced ferroptosis was accompanied by autophagy. Moreover, the occurrence of erianin-induced ferroptosis is reversed by autophagy inhibitors (NH4Cl and Bafilomycin A1) and ATG5 knockdown, suggesting that erianin-induced ferroptosis is autophagy-dependent. In addition, we evaluated the inhibition of tumor growth and metastasis by erianin in vivo using a subcutaneous tumor model and a spleen-liver metastasis model, respectively. Collectively, these data provide novel insights into the anticancer activity of erianin, which is valuable for the further discussion and investigation of the use of erianin in clinical anticancer chemotherapy for KRASG13D CRC.
    Keywords:  Autophagy; Colorectal cancer; Erianin; Ferroptosis; KRAS(G13D); Metastasis
  24. Stem Cells Transl Med. 2023 May 24. pii: szad022. [Epub ahead of print]
      Screening of primary patient acute myeloid leukemia (AML) cells is challenging based on intrinsic characteristics of human AML disease and patient-specific conditions required to sustain AML cells in culture. This is further complicated by inter- and intra-patient heterogeneity, and "contaminating" normal cells devoid of molecular AML mutations. Derivation of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) from human somatic cells has provided approaches for the development of patient-specific models of disease biology and has recently included AML. Although reprogramming patient-derived cancer cells to pluripotency allows for aspects of disease modeling, the major limitation preventing applications and deeper insights using AML-iPSCs is the rarity of success and limited subtypes of AML disease that can be captured by reprogramming to date. Here, we tested and refined methods including de novo, xenografting, naïve versus prime states and prospective isolation for reprogramming AML cells using a total of 22 AML patient samples representing the wide variety of cytogenetic abnormalities. These efforts allowed us to derive genetically matched healthy control (isogenic) lines and capture clones found originally in patients with AML. Using fluorescently activated cell sorting, we revealed that AML reprogramming is linked to the differentiation state of diseased tissue, where use of myeloid marker CD33 compared to the stem cell marker, CD34, reduces reprogramming capture of AML+ clones. Our efforts provide a platform for further optimization of AML-iPSC generation, and a unique library of iPSC derived from patients with AML for detailed cellular and molecular study.
    Keywords:  AML-induced pluripotent stem cell; acute myeloid leukemia; hematopoietic stem/progenitor cell; induced pluripotent stem cell; reprogramming; xenotransplantation
  25. Nat Commun. 2023 May 22. 14(1): 2740
      Cell migration is crucial for cancer dissemination. We find that AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) controls cell migration by acting as an adhesion sensing molecular hub. In 3-dimensional matrices, fast-migrating amoeboid cancer cells exert low adhesion/low traction linked to low ATP/AMP, leading to AMPK activation. In turn, AMPK plays a dual role controlling mitochondrial dynamics and cytoskeletal remodelling. High AMPK activity in low adhering migratory cells, induces mitochondrial fission, resulting in lower oxidative phosphorylation and lower mitochondrial ATP. Concurrently, AMPK inactivates Myosin Phosphatase, increasing Myosin II-dependent amoeboid migration. Reducing adhesion or mitochondrial fusion or activating AMPK induces efficient rounded-amoeboid migration. AMPK inhibition suppresses metastatic potential of amoeboid cancer cells in vivo, while a mitochondrial/AMPK-driven switch is observed in regions of human tumours where amoeboid cells are disseminating. We unveil how mitochondrial dynamics control cell migration and suggest that AMPK is a mechano-metabolic sensor linking energetics and the cytoskeleton.
  26. Nat Commun. 2023 May 23. 14(1): 2978
      Mapping the subcellular organization of proteins is crucial for understanding their biological functions. Herein, we report a reactive oxygen species induced protein labeling and identification (RinID) method for profiling subcellular proteome in the context of living cells. Our method capitalizes on a genetically encoded photocatalyst, miniSOG, to locally generate singlet oxygen that reacts with proximal proteins. Labeled proteins are conjugated in situ with an exogenously supplied nucleophilic probe, which serves as a functional handle for subsequent affinity enrichment and mass spectrometry-based protein identification. From a panel of nucleophilic compounds, we identify biotin-conjugated aniline and propargyl amine as highly reactive probes. As a demonstration of the spatial specificity and depth of coverage in mammalian cells, we apply RinID in the mitochondrial matrix, capturing 477 mitochondrial proteins with 94% specificity. We further demonstrate the broad applicability of RinID in various subcellular compartments, including the nucleus and the endoplasmic reticulum (ER). The temporal control of RinID enables pulse-chase labeling of ER proteome in HeLa cells, which reveals substantially higher clearance rate for secreted proteins than ER resident proteins.
  27. Spectrochim Acta A Mol Biomol Spectrosc. 2023 May 16. pii: S1386-1425(23)00568-1. [Epub ahead of print]299 122883
      Mitochondrial viscosity is closely associated with intracellular physiological activities yet their abnormality will result in various diseases. In particular, viscosity in cancer cells is different from that in normal cells, which is thought to be an indicator for cancer diagnosis. However, there were few fluorescent probes able to distinguish homologous cancer and normal cells by detecting mitochondrial viscosity. Herein, we designed a viscosity-sensitive fluorescent probe (named NP) based on the twisting intramolecular charge transfer (TICT) mechanism. NP exhibited exquisite sensitivity to viscosity and selectivity to mitochondria and excellent photophysical properties, such as large Stokes shift and high molar extinction coefficient, which enables wash-free, high-fidelity and fast imaging mitochondria. Moreover, it was capable of detecting mitochondrial viscosity in living cells and tissue, as well as monitoring apoptosis process. Significantly, considering numerous breast cancer cases in every country of the world, NP was successfully applied to distinguish human breast cancer cells (MCF-7) from normal cells (MCF-10A) by difference in fluorescence intensity originated from abnormality in mitochondrial viscosity. All the results indicated that NP could serve as a robust tool for effectively detecting mitochondrial viscosity changes in-situ.
    Keywords:  Distinguishing cancer cells; Fluorescence intensity; Fluorescent probe; Mitochondrial viscosity
  28. Mitochondrion. 2023 May 19. pii: S1567-7249(23)00041-7. [Epub ahead of print]71 40-49
      Circulating DNAs are considered as degraded DNA fragments of approximately 50-200 bp, found in blood plasma, consisting of cell-free mitochondrial and nuclear DNA. Such cell-free DNAs in the blood are found to be altered in different pathological conditions including lupus, heart disease, and malignancies. While nuclear DNAs are being used and being developed as a powerful clinical biomarker in liquid biopsies, mitochondrial DNAs (mtDNAs) are associated with inflammatory conditions including cancer progression. Patients with cancer including prostate cancer are found to have measurable concentrations of mitochondrial DNA in circulation in comparison with healthy controls. The plasma content of mitochondrial DNA is dramatically elevated in both prostate cancer patients and mouse models treated with the chemotherapeutic drug. Cell-free mtDNA, in its oxidized form, induced a pro-inflammatory condition and activates NLRP3-mediated inflammasome formation which causes IL-1β-mediated activation of growth factors. On the other hand, interacting with TLR9, mtDNAs trigger NF-κB-mediated complement C3a positive feedback paracrine loop and activate pro-proliferating signaling through upregulating AKT, ERK, and Bcl2 in the prostate tumor microenvironment. In this review, we discuss the growing evidence supporting cell-free mitochondrial DNA copy number, size, and mutations in mtDNA genes as potential prognostic biomarkers in different cancers and targetable prostate cancer therapeutic candidates impacting stromal-epithelial interactions essential for chemotherapy response.
    Keywords:  Biomarker; Cell-free DNA; Mitochondrial DNA; Prostate cancer; Tumor microenvironment; mtDNA
  29. Nat Biotechnol. 2023 May 22.
      A number of mitochondrial diseases in humans are caused by point mutations that could be corrected by base editors, but delivery of CRISPR guide RNAs into the mitochondria is difficult. In this study, we present mitochondrial DNA base editors (mitoBEs), which combine a transcription activator-like effector (TALE)-fused nickase and a deaminase for precise base editing in mitochondrial DNA. Combining mitochondria-localized, programmable TALE binding proteins with the nickase MutH or Nt.BspD6I(C) and either the single-stranded DNA-specific adenine deaminase TadA8e or the cytosine deaminase ABOBEC1 and UGI, we achieve A-to-G or C-to-T base editing with up to 77% efficiency and high specificity. We find that mitoBEs are DNA strand-selective mitochondrial base editors, with editing results more likely to be retained on the nonnicked DNA strand. Furthermore, we correct pathogenic mitochondrial DNA mutations in patient-derived cells by delivering mitoBEs encoded in circular RNAs. mitoBEs offer a precise, efficient DNA editing tool with broad applicability for therapy in mitochondrial genetic diseases.
  30. J Exp Clin Cancer Res. 2023 May 26. 42(1): 134
      BACKGROUND: Clear cell renal cell carcinoma (ccRCC) is the most common subtype of renal cancer. Large-scale metabolomic data have associated metabolic alterations with the pathogenesis and progression of renal carcinoma and have correlated mitochondrial activity with poor survival in a subset of patients. The aim of this study was to determine whether targeting mitochondria-lysosome interaction could be a novel therapeutic approach using patient-derived organoids as avatar for drug response.METHODS: RNAseq data analysis and immunohistochemistry were used to show overexpression of Purinergic receptor 4 (P2XR4) in clear cell carcinomas. Seahorse experiments, immunofluorescence and fluorescence cell sorting were used to demonstrate that P2XR4 regulates mitochondrial activity and the balance of radical oxygen species. Pharmacological inhibitors and genetic silencing promoted lysosomal damage, calcium overload in mitochondria and cell death via both necrosis and apoptosis. Finally, we established patient-derived organoids and murine xenograft models to investigate the antitumor effect of P2XR4 inhibition using imaging drug screening, viability assay and immunohistochemistry.
    RESULTS: Our data suggest that oxo-phosphorylation is the main source of tumor-derived ATP in a subset of ccRCC cells expressing P2XR4, which exerts a critical impact on tumor energy metabolism and mitochondrial activity. Prolonged mitochondrial failure induced by pharmacological inhibition or P2XR4 silencing was associated with increased oxygen radical species, changes in mitochondrial permeability (i.e., opening of the transition pore complex, dissipation of membrane potential, and calcium overload). Interestingly, higher mitochondrial activity in patient derived organoids was associated with greater sensitivity to P2XR4 inhibition and tumor reduction in a xenograft model.
    CONCLUSION: Overall, our results suggest that the perturbed balance between lysosomal integrity and mitochondrial activity induced by P2XR4 inhibition may represent a new therapeutic strategy for a subset of patients with renal carcinoma and that individualized organoids may be help to predict drug efficacy.
    Keywords:  Drug screening; Lysosomes; Mitochondria; Organoids; Purinergic receptors; Renal carcinoma
  31. bioRxiv. 2023 May 09. pii: 2023.05.07.539772. [Epub ahead of print]
      Thioredoxin Reductase (TrxR) is a key enzyme in reactive oxygen species (ROS) detoxification and in redox regulation. Because cancer cells produce increased steady-state levels of ROS (i.e., superoxide and hydrogen peroxide), TrxR is viable target in clinical trials using the anti-rheumatic drug, auranofin (AF). To extend these observations to small cell lung cancer (SCLC), AF-mediated TrxR inhibition as well as tolerability and tumor growth inhibition was determined in a xenograft model. AF was administered intraperitoneal, daily or twice daily for 1 to 5 days in mice bearing DMS273 xenografts. AF uptake was determined by mass spectrometry of gold and inhibition of TrxR in the tumor was determined. The optimal dose was 4 mg/kg once daily resulting in 18 μM gold in the plasma and 50% inhibition of TrxR activity in DMS273 SCLC tumors. This regimen given for 14 days provided a trend for prolonged median survival from 17.5 to 22 days (p=0.058, N=20 controls, 19 AF) without causing changes in bodyweight, bone marrow toxicity, blood urea nitrogen or creatinine. These results support the hypothesis that AF is an effective inhibitor of TrxR and suggest that AF could be used as an adjuvant in radio-chemotherapy protocols to enhance therapeutic efficacy.
  32. J Cancer. 2023 ;14(7): 1088-1106
      The study of the biological effects of low-energy ultrasound and its applications is a rapidly expanding research area. Low-energy ultrasound could be used as anti-tumoral therapy with or without the pharmacological combination even if the second situation has been scarcely investigated up to now. Very little information is available about the ultrasound effects on healthy red blood cells, CD3, and mainly CD8 subset lymphocytes which is the main subset cell having cytotoxic function towards cancer cells. In this study, we investigated in vitro the bioeffects of low energy ultrasound on red blood cells and PBMCs isolated from healthy donors as well as on two myeloid leukemia cell lines (OCI- AML-3 MOLM-13) and lymphoblastic Jurkat cell line. Using low-energy ultrasound (US), a study was conducted to determine how it affects CD3/CD8 lymphocytes and leukemia cells, as well as its potential role in treating blood cancers, by analyzing changes in mitochondrial membrane potential, phosphatidylserine asymmetry, morphological changes for myeloid AML cell lines, proliferation and cytotoxic activation of healthy lymphocytes, and apoptosis for RBCs after US exposure. Overall, we demonstrated that CD3/CD8 lymphocytes proliferation/activation and cytotoxic functions are fully preserved after ultrasound treatments, whereas leukemia cell lines undergo apoptosis and stop proliferating suggesting a potential method of treating blood cancer.
    Keywords:  CD3/CD8 lymphocytes proliferation/activation and cytotoxic functions; Lymphocytes; Red blood cells
  33. Cell Chem Biol. 2023 May 22. pii: S2451-9456(23)00126-5. [Epub ahead of print]
      Lack of MHC-II is emerging as a causal factor in cancer immune evasion, and the development of small-molecule MHC-II inducers is an unmet clinical need. Here, we identified three MHC-II inducers, including pristane and its two superior derivatives, that potently induce MHC-II expression in breast cancer cells and effectively inhibit the development of breast cancer. Our data suggest that MHC-II is central in promoting the immune detection of cancer to increase the tumor infiltration of T cells and enhance anti-cancer immunity. By discovering the malonyl/acetyltransferase (MAT) domain in fatty acid synthase (FASN) as the direct binding target of MHC-II inducers, we demonstrate that evasion of immune detection and cancer metabolic reprogramming are directly linked by fatty acid-mediated MHC-II silencing. Collectively, we identified three MHC-II inducers and illustrated that lack of MHC-II caused by hyper-activated fatty acid synthesis to limit immune detection is a potentially widespread mechanism underlying the development of cancer.
    Keywords:  MHC-II inducers; cancer immunity; cancer metabolism; immune detection; immunotherapy
  34. Transl Oncol. 2023 May 20. pii: S1936-5233(23)00082-7. [Epub ahead of print]34 101696
      BACKGROUND: Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is a leading cause of cancer death. Branched-chain amino acid (BCAA) homeostasis is important for normal physiological metabolism. Branched-chain keto acid dehydrogenase kinase (BCKDK) is a rate-limiting enzyme involved in BCAA degradation. BCAA metabolism has been highlighted in human cancers. The aberrant activation of mTORC1 has been implicated in tumor progression. Rab1A is a small GTPase, an activator of mTORC1, and an oncogene. This study aimed to reveal the specific role of BCKDK-BCAA-Rab1A-mTORC1 signaling in NSCLC.METHODS: We analyzed a cohort of 79 patients with NSCLC and 79 healthy controls. Plasma BCAA assays, immunohistochemistry, and network and pathway analyses were performed. The stable cell lines BCKDK-KD, BCKDK-OV A549, and H1299 were constructed. BCKDK, Rab1A, p-S6 and S6 were detected using western blotting to explore their molecular mechanisms of action in NSCLC. The effects of BCAA and BCKDK on the apoptosis and proliferation of H1299 cells were detected by cell function assays.
    RESULTS: We demonstrated that NSCLC was primarily involved in BCAA degradation. Therefore, combining BCAA, CEA, and Cyfra21-1 is clinically useful for treating NSCLC. We observed a significant increase in BCAA levels, downregulation of BCKDHA expression, and upregulation of BCKDK expression in NSCLC cells. BCKDK promotes proliferation and inhibits apoptosis in NSCLC cells, and we observed that BCKDK affected Rab1A and p-S6 in A549 and H1299 cells via BCAA modulation. Leucine affected Rab1A and p-S6 in A549 and H1299 cells and affected the apoptosis rate of H1299 cells. In conclusion, BCKDK enhances Rab1A-mTORC1 signaling and promotes tumor proliferation by suppressing BCAA catabolism in NSCLC, suggesting a new biomarker for the early diagnosis and identification of metabolism-based targeted approaches for patients with NSCLC.
    Keywords:  BCAA catabolism; BCKDK; NSCLC; Rab1A; mTORC1
  35. Pathol Res Pract. 2023 May 11. pii: S0344-0338(23)00218-2. [Epub ahead of print]247 154518
      Colorectal cancer (CRC) remains one of the most prevalent and deadly cancers worldwide. The tumour-node-metastasis stage (TNM) is currently the most clinically important tool to predict prognosis for CRC patients. However, patients with the same TNM stage can have different prognoses. The metabolic status of tumour cells (Warburg-subtype) has been proposed as potential prognostic factor in CRC. However, potential biological mechanisms underlying the relationship between Warburg-subtype and prognosis have not been investigated in detail. One potential mechanism could be that the metabolic status of tumour cells affects the tumour microenvironment (TME). Our objective was to investigate the relationship between Warburg-subtypes and the TME. Haematoxylin/Eosin stained tumour tissue microarray cores from 2171 CRC patients from the Netherlands Cohort Study were semi quantitatively assessed for tumour infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) and relative tumour stroma content. 5745 cores were assessed by putting each core in one of four categories for both TILs and stroma. The relationship between Warburg-subtype, TILs, and tumour stroma content was investigated. The frequency of CRC in the different TIL categories was (n, %): very low (2538, 44.2), low (2463, 42.9), high (722, 12.6), and very high (22, 0.4). The frequency of CRC in the different tumour stroma content categories was: ≤ 25% (2755, 47.9), > 25% ≤ 50% (1553, 27) > 50% ≤ 75% (905, 15.8), and > 75% (532, 9.3). There was neither an association between Warburg-subtype and tumour stroma content (p = 0.229) nor between Warburg-subtype and TILs (p = 0.429). This is the first study to investigate the relationship between Warburg-subtypes and the TME in a large population-based series of CRC patients. Our data suggest that the prognostic value of Warburg-subtypes cannot be directly attributed to differences in TILs or tumour stroma content. Our results require confirmation in an independent series.
    Keywords:  Colorectal cancer; Tumour infiltrating lymphocytes; Tumour stromal content; Warburg effect
  36. Nature. 2023 May 24.
    Keywords:  Cancer; Cell biology; Molecular biology; Therapeutics
  37. Sci Adv. 2023 May 24. 9(21): eadg8156
      Degradation of defective mitochondria is an essential process to maintain cellular homeostasis and it is strictly regulated by the ubiquitin-proteasome system (UPS) and lysosomal activities. Here, using genome-wide CRISPR and small interference RNA screens, we identified a critical contribution of the lysosomal system in controlling aberrant induction of apoptosis following mitochondrial damage. After treatment with mitochondrial toxins, activation of the PINK1-Parkin axis triggered a BAX- and BAK-independent process of cytochrome c release from mitochondria followed by APAF1 and caspase 9-dependent apoptosis. This phenomenon was mediated by UPS-dependent outer mitochondrial membrane (OMM) degradation and was reversed using proteasome inhibitors. We found that the subsequent recruitment of the autophagy machinery to the OMM protected cells from apoptosis, mediating the lysosomal degradation of dysfunctional mitochondria. Our results underscore a major role of the autophagy machinery in counteracting aberrant noncanonical apoptosis and identified autophagy receptors as key elements in the regulation of this process.