bims-mibica Biomed News
on Mitochondrial bioenergetics in cancer
Issue of 2023‒08‒06
27 papers selected by
Kelsey Fisher-Wellman
East Carolina University

  1. Sci Adv. 2023 Aug 02. 9(31): eadi1359
      Respiratory complex I, a key enzyme in mammalian metabolism, captures the energy released by reduction of ubiquinone by NADH to drive protons across the inner mitochondrial membrane, generating the proton-motive force for ATP synthesis. Despite remarkable advances in structural knowledge of this complicated membrane-bound enzyme, its mechanism of catalysis remains controversial. In particular, how ubiquinone reduction is coupled to proton pumping and the pathways and mechanisms of proton translocation are contested. We present a 2.4-Å resolution cryo-EM structure of complex I from mouse heart mitochondria in the closed, active (ready-to-go) resting state, with 2945 water molecules modeled. By analyzing the networks of charged and polar residues and water molecules present, we evaluate candidate pathways for proton transfer through the enzyme, for the chemical protons for ubiquinone reduction, and for the protons transported across the membrane. Last, we compare our data to the predictions of extant mechanistic models, and identify key questions to answer in future work to test them.
  2. Cell Rep. 2023 Jul 29. pii: S2211-1247(23)00857-4. [Epub ahead of print]42(8): 112846
      Several phospholipid (PL) molecules are intertwined with some mitochondrial complex I (CI) subunits in the membrane domain of CI, but their function is unclear. We report that when the Drosophila melanogaster ortholog of the intramitochondrial PL transporter, STARD7, is severely disrupted, assembly of the oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) system is impaired, and the biogenesis of several CI subcomplexes is hampered. However, intriguingly, a restrained knockdown of STARD7 impairs the incorporation of NDUFS5 and NDUFA1 into the proximal part of the CI membrane domain without directly affecting the incorporation of subunits in the distal part of the membrane domain, OXPHOS complexes already assembled, or mitochondrial cristae integrity. Importantly, the restrained knockdown of STARD7 appears to induce a modest amount of cardiolipin remodeling, indicating that there could be some alteration in the composition of the mitochondrial phospholipidome. We conclude that PLs can regulate CI biogenesis independent of their role in maintaining mitochondrial membrane integrity.
    Keywords:  CP: Molecular biology; Drosophila; NDUFA1; NDUFS5; OXPHOS; STARD7; complex I; mitochondria; phospholipid
  3. J Cell Biol. 2023 Oct 02. pii: e202303147. [Epub ahead of print]222(10):
      Mitochondria are highly dynamic double membrane-bound organelles that maintain their shape in part through fission and fusion. Mitochondrial fission is performed by a dynamin-related protein, Dnm1 (Drp1 in humans), that constricts and divides the mitochondria in a GTP hydrolysis-dependent manner. However, it is unclear whether factors inside mitochondria help coordinate the process and if Dnm1/Drp1 activity is sufficient to complete the fission of both mitochondrial membranes. Here, we identify an intermembrane space protein required for mitochondrial fission in yeast, which we propose to name Mdi1 (also named Atg44). Loss of Mdi1 causes mitochondrial hyperfusion due to defects in fission, but not the lack of Dnm1 recruitment to mitochondria. Mdi1 is conserved in fungal species, and its homologs contain an amphipathic α-helix, mutations of which disrupt mitochondrial morphology. One model is that Mdi1 distorts mitochondrial membranes to enable Dnm1 to robustly complete fission. Our work reveals that Dnm1 cannot efficiently divide mitochondria without the coordinated function of Mdi1 inside mitochondria.
  4. Cell Death Dis. 2023 Aug 02. 14(8): 492
      Metabolic heterogeneity of tumor microenvironment (TME) is a hallmark of cancer and a big barrier to cancer treatment. Cancer cells display diverse capacities to utilize alternative carbon sources, including nucleotides, under poor nutrient circumstances. However, whether and how purine, especially inosine, regulates mitochondrial metabolism to buffer nutrient starvation has not been well-defined yet. Here, we identify the induction of 5'-nucleotidase, cytosolic II (NT5C2) gene expression promotes inosine accumulation and maintains cancer cell survival in the nutrient-poor region. Inosine elevation further induces Rag GTPases abundance and mTORC1 signaling pathway by enhancing transcription factor SP1 level in the starved tumor. Besides, inosine supplementary stimulates the synthesis of nascent TCA cycle enzymes, including citrate synthesis (CS) and aconitase 1 (ACO1), to further enhance oxidative phosphorylation of breast cancer cells under glucose starvation, leading to the accumulation of iso-citric acid. Inhibition of the CS activity or knockdown of ACO1 blocks the rescue effect of inosine on cancer survival under starvation. Collectively, our finding highlights the vital signal role of inosine linking mitochondrial respiration and buffering starvation, beyond serving as direct energy carriers or building blocks for genetic code in TME, shedding light on future cancer treatment by targeting inosine metabolism.
  5. iScience. 2023 Jul 21. 26(7): 107180
      Mitochondria are multifaceted organelles crucial for cellular homeostasis that contain their own genome. Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) replication is a spatially regulated process essential for the maintenance of mitochondrial function, its defect causing mitochondrial diseases. mtDNA replication occurs at endoplasmic reticulum (ER)-mitochondria contact sites and is affected by mitochondrial dynamics: The absence of mitochondrial fusion is associated with mtDNA depletion whereas loss of mitochondrial fission causes the aggregation of mtDNA within abnormal structures termed mitobulbs. Here, we show that contact sites between mitochondria and ER sheets, the ER structure associated with protein synthesis, regulate mtDNA replication and distribution within mitochondrial networks. DRP1 loss or mutation leads to modified ER sheets and alters the interaction between ER sheets and mitochondria, disrupting RRBP1-SYNJ2BP interaction. Importantly, mtDNA distribution and replication were rescued by promoting ER sheets-mitochondria contact sites. Our work identifies the role of ER sheet-mitochondria contact sites in regulating mtDNA replication and distribution.
    Keywords:  Biochemistry; Biological sciences; Cell biology
  6. Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2023 Jul 25. pii: S0006-291X(23)00919-1. [Epub ahead of print]676 158-164
      Aquaporin 3 (AQP3) is a member of the aquaporin water channel family expressed by numerous cell types, including some cancer cells. Accumulating evidence suggests that AQP3 inhibition may impede cancer progression, but drugs targeting AQP3 are still in the early pre-clinical stage of development. Here, we examined the effect of AQP3 inhibition on multiple myeloma (MM), an incurable plasma cell malignancy. Four MM cell lines were cultured in the presence of an anti-AQP3 monoclonal antibody (mAb), the AQP3 inhibitor DFP00173, or corresponding controls, and the effects on cell viability, proliferation, apoptosis, and mitochondrial respiration capacity were compared. Both anti-AQP3 mAb and DFP00173 reduced cell growth, mitochondrial respiration rate, and electron transport chain complex I activity. Both agents also potentiated the antiproliferative efficacy of the anticancer drug venetoclax. Administration of the anti-AQP3 mAb to immunodeficient mice inoculated with RPMI8226 or KMS-11 MM cells significantly suppressed tumor growth. These data provide evidence that AQP3 blockade can suppress MM cell growth in vitro and tumor growth in mice. Thus, AQP3 inhibition may be an effective therapeutic strategy for MM.
    Keywords:  Aquaporin 3; Cancer progression; Mitochondrial respiration; Multiple myeloma; Oxygen consumption
  7. EMBO Mol Med. 2023 Aug 03. e17399
      Mitochondria are central for cellular metabolism and energy supply. Barth syndrome (BTHS) is a severe disorder, due to dysfunction of the mitochondrial cardiolipin acyl transferase tafazzin. Altered cardiolipin remodeling affects mitochondrial inner membrane organization and function of membrane proteins such as transporters and the oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) system. Here, we describe a mouse model that carries a G197V exchange in tafazzin, corresponding to BTHS patients. TAZG197V mice recapitulate disease-specific pathology including cardiac dysfunction and reduced oxidative phosphorylation. We show that mutant mitochondria display defective fatty acid-driven oxidative phosphorylation due to reduced levels of carnitine palmitoyl transferases. A metabolic switch in ATP production from OXPHOS to glycolysis is apparent in mouse heart and patient iPSC cell-derived cardiomyocytes. An increase in glycolytic ATP production inactivates AMPK causing altered metabolic signaling in TAZG197V . Treatment of mutant cells with AMPK activator reestablishes fatty acid-driven OXPHOS and protects mice against cardiac dysfunction.
    Keywords:  Barth syndrome; cardiolipin; cardiomyopathy; mitochondria; tafazzin
  8. Immunity. 2023 Jul 20. pii: S1074-7613(23)00314-X. [Epub ahead of print]
      Environmental nutrient availability influences T cell metabolism, impacting T cell function and shaping immune outcomes. Here, we identified ketone bodies (KBs)-including β-hydroxybutyrate (βOHB) and acetoacetate (AcAc)-as essential fuels supporting CD8+ T cell metabolism and effector function. βOHB directly increased CD8+ T effector (Teff) cell cytokine production and cytolytic activity, and KB oxidation (ketolysis) was required for Teff cell responses to bacterial infection and tumor challenge. CD8+ Teff cells preferentially used KBs over glucose to fuel the tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle in vitro and in vivo. KBs directly boosted the respiratory capacity and TCA cycle-dependent metabolic pathways that fuel CD8+ T cell function. Mechanistically, βOHB was a major substrate for acetyl-CoA production in CD8+ T cells and regulated effector responses through effects on histone acetylation. Together, our results identify cell-intrinsic ketolysis as a metabolic and epigenetic driver of optimal CD8+ T cell effector responses.
    Keywords:  CD8(+) T cells; TCA cycle; acetyl-CoA; cancer immunology; effector function; epigenetics; ketolysis; ketone bodies; metabolism
  9. J Transl Med. 2023 08 03. 21(1): 522
      BACKGROUND: Colorectal cancer (CRC) can be classified into four molecular subtypes (CMS) among which CMS1 is associated with the best prognosis, while CMS4, the mesenchymal subtype, has the worst outcome. Although mitochondria are considered to be hubs of numerous signaling pathways, the study of mitochondrial metabolism has been neglected for many years. Mitochondrial Complex I (CI) plays a dual role, both in energy and reactive oxygen species (ROS) production. However, the possible contribution of CI to tumorigenesis in cancer remains unclear. The purpose of this study was to investigate the CI under the prism of the CMS classification of CRC in ex vivo models.METHODS: Biochemical dosages, bioenergetics analysis and western-blot were used to characterize CI expression, function and redox balance in LoVo and MDST8 cell lines, belonging to CMS1 and CMS4 subgroups, respectively. Cell proliferation and migration were assessed by xCELLigence technology. Overproduction or scavenging of mitochondrial ROS (mtROS) were performed to analyze the effect of mtROS on proliferation, migration, and mesenchymal markers. Focal adhesion kinase (FAK) and its activation were analyzed by immunofluorescence. We assessed the distribution of two CI scores in CRC cohorts according to CMS classification and their relevance for patient survival.
    RESULTS: We found that CI is downregulated in CMS4 cells and is associated with elevated mtROS. We establish for the first time that in these migrating cells, mtROS production is maintained at optimal levels not only through changes in CI activity but also by inactivation/acetylation of superoxide dismutase 2 (SOD2), a major mitochondrial antioxidant enzyme. We show that promoting or scavenging mtROS both mitigate CMS4 cells' migration. Our results also point to a mtROS-mediated focal adhesion kinase (FAK) activation, which likely sustains their migratory phenotype. Using cohorts of CRC patients, we document that the expression of CI is downregulated in the CMS4 subgroup, and that low CI expression is associated with poor prognosis. Patients' datasets reveal an inverse correlation between CI and the epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) pathway.
    CONCLUSION: We showed that inhibition of CI contributes to heighten mtROS, which likely foster MDST8 migration and might account for the specific EMT signature of CMS4 tumors. These data reveal a novel role of mitochondrial CI in CRC, with biological consequences that may be targeted with anti- or pro-oxidant drugs in clinical practice.
    Keywords:  Colorectal cancer; Complex I; Consensus Molecular Subtypes (CMS); Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition (EMT); Mitochondria; Reactive oxygen species; SOD2
  10. Cancer Res. 2023 08 01. 83(15): 2441-2442
      Oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) is a well-documented dependency of leukemia stem cells (LSC). In this issue of Cancer Research, Griessinger and colleagues have identified cold sensitivity as a new vulnerability of OXPHOS-dependent LSCs. Mechanistically, cold sensitive leukemic cell death is caused by membrane permeabilization due to OXPHOS-dependent differences in membrane lipid species abundance. This work sheds new light onto the contribution of OXPHOS to lipid homeostasis in LSCs and has important implications for the handling and processing of primary acute myeloid leukemia specimens. See related article by Griessinger et al., p. 2461.
  11. Nature. 2023 Aug 01.
      The presequence translocase of the mitochondrial inner membrane (TIM23) represents the major route for the import of nuclear-encoded proteins into mitochondria1,2. About 60% of more than 1,000 different mitochondrial proteins are synthesised with amino-terminal targeting signals, termed presequences, which form positively charged amphiphilic α-helices3,4. TIM23 sorts the presequence proteins into the inner membrane or matrix. Various views including regulatory and coupling functions have been reported on the essential TIM23 subunit Tim175-7. We mapped the interaction of Tim17 with matrix-targeted and inner membrane-sorted preproteins during translocation in the native membrane environment. We show that Tim17 contains conserved negative charges close to the intermembrane space side of the bilayer, which are essential to initiate presequence protein translocation along a distinct transmembrane cavity of Tim17 for both classes of preproteins. The amphiphilic character of mitochondrial presequences directly matches this Tim17-dependent translocation mechanism. This mechanism permits direct lateral release of transmembrane segments of inner membrane-sorted precursors into the inner membrane.
  12. J Biomed Sci. 2023 Aug 03. 30(1): 63
      BACKGROUND: Leber's hereditary optic neuropathy (LHON) is a maternally inherited eye disease due to mutations in mitochondrial DNA. However, there is no effective treatment for this disease. LHON-linked ND6 14484T > C (p.M64V) mutation caused complex I deficiency, diminished ATP production, increased production of reactive oxygen species (ROS), elevated apoptosis, and impaired mitophagy. Here, we investigated if the allotopic expression of human mitochondrial ND6 transgene corrected the mitochondrial dysfunctions due to LHON-associated m.14484T > C mutation.METHODS: Nucleus-versions of ND6 was generated by changing 6 non-universal codons with universal codons and added to mitochondrial targeting sequence of COX8. Stable transfectants were generated by transferring human ND6 cDNA expressed in a pCDH-puro vector into mutant cybrids carrying the m.14484T > C mutation and control cybrids. The effect of allotopic expression of ND6 on oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) was evaluated using Blue Native gel electrophoresis and extracellular flux analyzer. Assessment of ROS production in cell lines was performed by flow cytometry with MitoSOX Red reagent. Analyses for apoptosis and mitophagy were undertaken via flow cytometry, TUNEL and immunofluorescence assays.
    RESULTS: The transfer of human ND6 into the cybrids carrying the m.14484T > C mutation raised the levels of ND6, ND1 and ND4L but did not change the levels of other mitochondrial proteins. The overexpression of ND6 led to 20~23% increases in the assembly and activity of complex I, and ~ 53% and ~ 33% increases in the levels of mitochondrial ATP and ΔΨm in the mutant cybrids bearing m.14484T > C mutation. Furthermore, mutant cybrids with overexpression of ND6 exhibited marked reductions in the levels of mitochondrial ROS. Strikingly, ND6 overexpression markedly inhibited the apoptosis process and restored impaired mitophagy in the cells carrying m.14484T > C mutation. However, overexpression of ND6 did not affect the ND6 level and mitochondrial functions in the wild-type cybrids, indicating that this ND6 level appeared to be the maximum threshold level to maintain the normal cell function.
    CONCLUSION: We demonstrated that allotopic expression of nucleus-versions of ND6 restored complex I, apoptosis and mitophagy deficiencies caused by the m.14484T > C mutation. The restoration of m.14484T > C mutation-induced mitochondrial dysfunctions by overexpression of ND6 is a step toward therapeutic interventions for LHON and mitochondrial diseases.
    Keywords:  Allotopic expression; Apoptosis; Complex I; Leber’s hereditary optic neuropathy; Mitochondrial DNA mutation; Mitophagy
  13. Acta Biomater. 2023 Aug 02. pii: S1742-7061(23)00452-X. [Epub ahead of print]
      Although mitochondrial morphology and function are considered to be closely related to matrix stiffness-driven tumor progression, it remains poorly understood how extracellular matrix (ECM) stiffness affects mitochondrial dynamics and mitophagy. Here, we found that soft substrate triggered calcium transport by increasing endoplasmic reticulum (ER) calcium release and mitochondrial (MITO) calcium uptake. ER-MITO calcium transport promoted the recruitment of dynamin-related protein 1 (Drp1) to mitochondria and phosphorylation at the serine 616 site, which induced mitochondrial fragmentation and Parkin/PINK1-mediated mitophagy. Furthermore, in vivo experiments demonstrated that soft ECM enhanced calcium levels in tumor tissue, Drp1 activity was required for soft ECM-induced mitochondrial dynamics impairment, and inhibition of Drp1 activity enhanced soft ECM-induced tumor necrosis. In conclusion, we revealed a new mechanism whereby ER-MITO calcium transport regulated mitochondrial dynamics and mitophagy through Drp1 translocation in response to soft substrates. These findings provide valuable insights into ECM stiffness as a potential target for antitumor therapy. STATEMENT OF SIGNIFICANCE: : Here, we examined the relationship between substrate stiffness and mitochondrial dynamics by using polyacrylamide (PAA) substrates to simulate the stages of breast cancer or BAPN to reduce tumor tissue stiffness. The results elucidated that soft substrate triggered the recruitment of DRP1 and subsequent mitochondrial fission and mitophagy by ER-MITO calcium transport. Furthermore, mitophagy partly attenuated soft ECM-mediated tumor tissue necrosis and contributed to tumor survival in vivo. Our discoveries revealed the molecular mechanisms by which mechanical stimulation regulates mitochondrial dynamics, providing valuable insights into ECM stiffness as a target for anti-tumor approaches, which could be beneficial for both biomechanics research and clinical applications.
    Keywords:  ER-MITO calcium transport; Extracellular matrix (ECM) stiffness; Mitochondrial dynamics; Mitophagy
  14. PLoS Biol. 2023 Aug 03. 21(8): e3002244
      Functional analyses of genes linked to heritable forms of Parkinson's disease (PD) have revealed fundamental insights into the biological processes underpinning pathogenic mechanisms. Mutations in PARK15/FBXO7 cause autosomal recessive PD and FBXO7 has been shown to regulate mitochondrial homeostasis. We investigated the extent to which FBXO7 and its Drosophila orthologue, ntc, share functional homology and explored its role in mitophagy in vivo. We show that ntc mutants partially phenocopy Pink1 and parkin mutants and ntc overexpression supresses parkin phenotypes. Furthermore, ntc can modulate basal mitophagy in a Pink1- and parkin-independent manner by promoting the ubiquitination of mitochondrial proteins, a mechanism that is opposed by the deubiquitinase USP30. This basal ubiquitination serves as the substrate for Pink1-mediated phosphorylation that triggers stress-induced mitophagy. We propose that FBXO7/ntc works in equilibrium with USP30 to provide a checkpoint for mitochondrial quality control in basal conditions in vivo and presents a new avenue for therapeutic approaches.
  15. Haematologica. 2023 Aug 03.
      Despite recent advances in the therapy of diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL), many patients are still not cured. Therefore, new therapeutic strategies are needed. The anti-apoptotic B-cell lymphoma 2 (BCL2) gene is commonly dysregulated in DLBCL due to various mechanisms such as chromosomal translocation t(14;18)(q32;q21) and copy number alterations; however, targeting BCL-2 with the selective inhibitor, venetoclax, led to response in only a minority of patients. Thus, we sought to identify a rational combination partner of venetoclax to improve its activity against DLBCL cells. Utilizing a functional assay, dynamic BH3 profiling (DBP), we found that the DNA hypomethylating agent decitabine increased mitochondrial apoptotic priming and BCL-2 dependence in DLBCL cells. RNA sequencing analysis revealed that decitabine suppressed the pro-survival PI3K-AKT pathway and altered the mitochondria membrane composition in DLBCL cell lines. Additionally, it induced a DNA damage response and increased BAX and BAK activities. The combination of decitabine and venetoclax synergistically suppressed proliferation of DLBCL cells both in vitro and in vivo in a DLBCL cell line-derived xenograft mouse model. Our study suggests that decitabine plus venetoclax is a promising combination to explore clinically in DLBCL.
  16. BMC Genomics. 2023 Aug 04. 24(1): 439
      BACKGROUND: DNA methylation is one of the best characterized epigenetic modifications in the mammalian nuclear genome and is known to play a significant role in various biological processes. Nonetheless, the presence of 5-methylcytosine (5mC) in mitochondrial DNA remains controversial, as data ranging from the lack of 5mC to very extensive 5mC have been reported.RESULTS: By conducting comprehensive bioinformatic analyses of both published and our own data, we reveal that previous observations of extensive and strand-biased mtDNA-5mC are likely artifacts due to a combination of factors including inefficient bisulfite conversion, extremely low sequencing reads in the L strand, and interference from nuclear mitochondrial DNA sequences (NUMTs). To reduce false positive mtDNA-5mC signals, we establish an optimized procedure for library preparation and data analysis of bisulfite sequencing. Leveraging our modified workflow, we demonstrate an even distribution of 5mC signals across the mtDNA and an average methylation level ranging from 0.19% to 0.67% in both cell lines and primary cells, which is indistinguishable from the background noise.
    CONCLUSIONS: We have developed a framework for analyzing mtDNA-5mC through bisulfite sequencing, which enables us to present multiple lines of evidence for the lack of extensive 5mC in mammalian mtDNA. We assert that the data available to date do not support the reported presence of mtDNA-5mC.
    Keywords:  Bisulfite sequencing; DNA methylation; Mitochondria; NUMTs
  17. Life Metab. 2023 Feb;pii: load001. [Epub ahead of print]2(1):
      Mitochondria function as a hub of the cellular metabolic network. Mitochondrial stress is closely associated with aging and a variety of diseases, including neurodegeneration and cancer. Cells autonomously elicit specific stress responses to cope with mitochondrial stress to maintain mitochondrial homeostasis. Interestingly, mitochondrial stress responses may also be induced in a non-autonomous manner in cells or tissues that are not directly experiencing such stress. Such non-autonomous mitochondrial stress responses are mediated by secreted molecules called mitokines. Due to their significant translational potential in improving human metabolic health, there has been a surge in mitokine-focused research. In this review, we summarize the findings regarding inter-tissue communication of mitochondrial stress in animal models. In addition, we discuss the possibility of mitokine-mediated intercellular mitochondrial communication originating from bacterial quorum sensing.
    Keywords:  inter-tissue communication; metabolic health; mitochondria; mitokine; quorum sensing
  18. Trends Cancer. 2023 Aug 01. pii: S2405-8033(23)00132-2. [Epub ahead of print]
      In a recent study published in Cell, Zhang et al. integrate genome-wide CRISPRi screening with cysteine chemoproteomics to identify functionally relevant oxidation events associated with the cellular response to chemotherapy. This work uncovered checkpoint kinase 1 (CHK1) as a nuclear reactive oxygen species (ROS) sensor that mediates chemoresistance through the suppression of mitochondrial protein synthesis.
    Keywords:  CHK1; ROS; SSBP1; chemoresistance; redox
  19. Trends Cancer. 2023 Jul 28. pii: S2405-8033(23)00135-8. [Epub ahead of print]
      Fang et al. recently reported in Cancer Cell that methionine restriction increases antitumor immunity by enhancing cyclic GMP-AMP synthase (cGAS) activity and promoting its dissociation from chromatin. This finding identifies a potential strategy to target cGAS demethylation in cancer therapy by altering methionine metabolism.
    Keywords:  antitumor immunity; cGAS methylation; methionine restriction
  20. Free Radic Biol Med. 2023 Aug 01. pii: S0891-5849(23)00569-5. [Epub ahead of print]
      Since sirtuins (SIRTs) are closely associated with reactive oxygen species (ROS) and antioxidant system, the development of their selective inhibitors is drawing attention for understanding of cellular redox homeostasis. Here, we describe the pharmacological properties of SPC-180002, which incorporates a methyl methacrylate group as a key pharmacophore, along with its comprehensive molecular mechanism as a novel dual inhibitor of SIRT1/3. The dual inhibition of SIRT1/3 by SPC-180002 disturbs redox homeostasis via ROS generation, which leads to an increase in both p21 protein stability and mitochondrial dysfunction. Increased p21 interacts with and inhibits CDK, thereby interfering with cell cycle progression. SPC-180002 leads to mitochondrial dysfunction by inhibiting mitophagy, which is accompanied by a reduction in oxygen consumption rate. Consequently, SPC-180002 strongly suppresses the proliferation of cancer cells and exerts anticancer effect in vivo. Taken together, the novel SIRT1/3 dual inhibitor, SPC-180002, impairs mitochondrial function and redox homeostasis, thereby strongly inhibiting cell cycle progression and cancer cell growth.
    Keywords:  Cellular respiration; Mitochondrial dynamics; Mitophagy; Redox homeostasis; SIRT1/3 dual inhibitor; SPC-180002
  21. FEBS Open Bio. 2023 Jul 31.
      Telomerase reverse transcriptase (TERT) is a protein that catalyzes the reverse transcription of telomere elongation. TERT is also expected to play a noncanonical role beyond telomere lengthening since it localizes not only in the nucleus but also in mitochondria, where telomeres do not exist. Several studies have reported that mitochondrial TERT regulates apoptosis induced by oxidative stress. However, there is still some controversy as to whether mitochondrial TERT promotes or inhibits apoptosis, mainly due to the lack of information on changes in TERT distribution in individual cells over time. Here, we simultaneously detected apoptosis and TERT localization after oxidative stress in individual HeLa cells by live-cell tracking. Single-cell tracking revealed that the stress-induced accumulation of TERT in mitochondria caused apoptosis, but that accumulation increased over time until cell death. The results suggest a new model in which mitochondrial TERT has two opposing effects at different stages of apoptosis: it predetermines apoptosis at the first stage of cell-fate determination, but also delays apoptosis at the second stage. As such, our data support a model that integrates the two opposing hypotheses on mitochondrial TERT's effect on apoptosis. Furthermore, detailed statistical analysis of TERT mutations, which have been predicted to inhibit TERT transport to mitochondria, revealed that these mutations suppress apoptosis independent of mitochondrial localization of TERT. Together, these results imply that the non-canonical functions of TERT affect a wide range of mitochondria-dependent and mitochondria-independent apoptosis pathways.
    Keywords:  Apoptosis; Live-cell Imaging; Mitochondria; Oxidative Stress; TERT
  22. Biol Direct. 2023 Aug 01. 18(1): 43
      Antipsychotic drugs are the mainstay of treatment for schizophrenia and provide adjunct therapies for other prevalent psychiatric conditions, including bipolar disorder and major depressive disorder. However, they also induce debilitating extrapyramidal syndromes (EPS), such as Parkinsonism, in a significant minority of patients. The majority of antipsychotic drugs function as dopamine receptor antagonists in the brain while the most recent 'third'-generation, such as aripiprazole, act as partial agonists. Despite showing good clinical efficacy, these newer agents are still associated with EPS in ~ 5 to 15% of patients. However, it is not fully understood how these movement disorders develop. Here, we combine clinically-relevant drug concentrations with mutliscale model systems to show that aripiprazole and its primary active metabolite induce mitochondrial toxicity inducing robust declines in cellular ATP and viability. Aripiprazole, brexpiprazole and cariprazine were shown to directly inhibit respiratory complex I through its ubiquinone-binding channel. Importantly, all three drugs induced mitochondrial toxicity in primary embryonic mouse neurons, with greater bioenergetic inhibition in ventral midbrain neurons than forebrain neurons. Finally, chronic feeding with aripiprazole resulted in structural damage to mitochondria in the brain and thoracic muscle of adult Drosophila melanogaster consistent with locomotor dysfunction. Taken together, we show that antipsychotic drugs acting as partial dopamine receptor agonists exhibit off-target mitochondrial liabilities targeting complex I.
  23. Cell Signal. 2023 Aug 02. pii: S0898-6568(23)00252-8. [Epub ahead of print] 110838
      Kidney cancer is a common kind of tumor with approximately 400,000 new diagnoses each year. Clear cell renal cell carcinoma (ccRCC) accounts for 70-80% of all renal cell carcinomas. Lipid metabolism disorder is a hallmark of ccRCC. With a better knowledge of the importance of fatty acid oxidation (FAO) in cancer, carnitine palmitoyltransferase 2 (CPT2) has gained prominence as a major mediator in the cancer metabolic pathway. However, the biological functions and mechanism of CPT2 in the progression of ccRCC are still unclear. Herein, we performed assays in vitro and in vivo to explore CPT2 functions in ccRCC. Moreover, we discovered that CPT2 induced FAO, which inhibited the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) by increasing nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADPH) production. Additionally, we demonstrated that CPT2 suppresses tumor proliferation, invasion, and migration by inhibiting the ROS/ PPARγ /NF-κB pathway. Gene set enrichment analysis (GSEA) and drug sensitivity analysis showed that high expression of CPT2 in ccRCC was associated with higher sorafenib sensitivity, which was also validated in vitro and in vivo. In summary, our results suggest that CPT2 acts as a tumor suppressor in the development of ccRCC through the ROS/PPARγ/NF-κB pathway. Moreover, CPT2 is a potential therapeutic target for increasing sorafenib sensitivity in ccRCC.
    Keywords:  CPT2; Clear cell renal cell carcinoma; Fatty acid oxidation; ROS; Sorafenib
  24. Biochem Soc Trans. 2023 Aug 01. pii: BST20230017. [Epub ahead of print]
      Of the many genetic alterations that occur in cancer, relatively few have proven to be suitable for the development of targeted therapies. Mutations in isocitrate dehydrogenase (IDH) 1 and -2 increase the capacity of cancer cells to produce a normally scarce metabolite, D-2-hydroxyglutarate (2-HG), by several orders of magnitude. The discovery of the unusual biochemistry of IDH mutations spurred a flurry of activity that revealed 2-HG as an 'oncometabolite' with pleiotropic effects in malignant cells and consequences for anti-tumour immunity. Over the next decade, we learned that 2-HG dysregulates a wide array of molecular pathways, among them a large family of dioxygenases that utilise the closely related metabolite α-ketoglutarate (α-KG) as an essential co-substrate. 2-HG not only contributes to malignant transformation, but some cancer cells become addicted to it and sensitive to inhibitors that block its synthesis. Moreover, high 2-HG levels and loss of wild-type IDH1 or IDH2 activity gives rise to synthetic lethal vulnerabilities. Herein, we review the biology of IDH mutations with a particular focus on acute myeloid leukaemia (AML), an aggressive disease where selective targeting of IDH-mutant cells is showing significant promise.
    Keywords:  2-HG; IDH mutation; acute myeloid leukaemia; targeted therapies
  25. PLoS Genet. 2023 Jul 31. 19(7): e1010713
      We and others have previously shown that genetic association can be used to make causal connections between gene loci and small molecules measured by mass spectrometry in the bloodstream and in tissues. We identified a locus on mouse chromosome 7 where several phospholipids in liver showed strong genetic association to distinct gene loci. In this study, we integrated gene expression data with genetic association data to identify a single gene at the chromosome 7 locus as the driver of the phospholipid phenotypes. The gene encodes α/β-hydrolase domain 2 (Abhd2), one of 23 members of the ABHD gene family. We validated this observation by measuring lipids in a mouse with a whole-body deletion of Abhd2. The Abhd2KO mice had a significant increase in liver levels of phosphatidylcholine and phosphatidylethanolamine. Unexpectedly, we also found a decrease in two key mitochondrial lipids, cardiolipin and phosphatidylglycerol, in male Abhd2KO mice. These data suggest that Abhd2 plays a role in the synthesis, turnover, or remodeling of liver phospholipids.
  26. iScience. 2023 Aug 18. 26(8): 107369
      Extranodal natural killer/T cell lymphoma, nasal type (ENKTL) is an aggressive lymphoid malignancy with a poor prognosis and lacks standard treatment. Targeted therapies are urgently needed. Here we systematically investigated the druggable mechanisms through chemogenomic screening and identified that Bcl-xL-specific BH3 mimetics effectively induced ENKTL cell apoptosis. Notably, the specific accumulation of Bcl-xL, but not other Bcl-2 family members, was verified in ENKTL cell lines and patient tissues. Furthermore, Bcl-xL high expression was shown to be closely associated with worse patient survival. The critical role of Bcl-xL in ENKTL cell survival was demonstrated utilizing selective inhibitors, genetic silencing, and a specific degrader. Additionally, the IL2-JAK1/3-STAT5 signaling was implicated in Bcl-xL dysregulation. In vivo, Bcl-xL inhibition reduced tumor burden, increased apoptosis, and prolonged survival in ENKTL cell line xenograft and patient-derived xenograft models. Our study indicates Bcl-xL as a promising therapeutic target for ENKTL, warranting monitoring in ongoing clinical trials by targeting Bcl-xL.
    Keywords:  Biochemistry; Biological sciences; Cancer systems biology; Natural sciences; Systems biology
  27. Nat Commun. 2023 Aug 04. 14(1): 4677
      KRAS is an important tumor intrinsic factor driving immune suppression in colorectal cancer (CRC). In this study, we demonstrate that SLC25A22 underlies mutant KRAS-induced immune suppression in CRC. In immunocompetent male mice and humanized male mice models, SLC25A22 knockout inhibits KRAS-mutant CRC tumor growth with reduced myeloid derived suppressor cells (MDSC) but increased CD8+ T-cells, implying the reversion of mutant KRAS-driven immunosuppression. Mechanistically, we find that SLC25A22 plays a central role in promoting asparagine, which binds and activates SRC phosphorylation. Asparagine-mediated SRC promotes ERK/ETS2 signaling, which drives CXCL1 transcription. Secreted CXCL1 functions as a chemoattractant for MDSC via CXCR2, leading to an immunosuppressive microenvironment. Targeting SLC25A22 or asparagine impairs KRAS-induced MDSC infiltration in CRC. Finally, we demonstrate that the targeting of SLC25A22 in combination with anti-PD1 therapy synergizes to inhibit MDSC and activate CD8+ T cells to suppress KRAS-mutant CRC growth in vivo. We thus identify a metabolic pathway that drives immunosuppression in KRAS-mutant CRC.