bims-mibica Biomed News
on Mitochondrial bioenergetics in cancer
Issue of 2023‒09‒17
29 papers selected by
Kelsey Fisher-Wellman, East Carolina University

  1. Biochim Biophys Acta Mol Basis Dis. 2023 Sep 07. pii: S0925-4439(23)00245-4. [Epub ahead of print] 166879
      The endogenous inhibitor of mitochondrial F1Fo-ATPase (ATP synthase), IF1, has been shown to exert pro-oncogenic actions, including reprogramming of cellular energy metabolism (Warburg effect). The latter action of IF1 has been reported to be hampered by its PKA-dependent phosphorylation, but both reprogramming of metabolism and PKA-dependent phosphorylation are intensely debated. To clarify these critical issues, we prepared stably IF1-silenced clones and compared their bioenergetics with that of the three parental IF1-expressing cancer cell lines. All functional parameters: respiration rate, ATP synthesis rate (OXPHOS), and mitochondrial membrane potential were similar in IF1-silenced and control cells, clearly indicating that IF1 cannot inhibit the ATP synthase in cancer cells when the enzyme works physiologically. Furthermore, all cell types exposed to PKA modulators and energized with NAD+-dependent substrates or succinate showed similar OXPHOS rate regardless of the presence or absence of IF1. Therefore, our results rule out that IF1 action is modulated by its PKA-dependent phosphorylated/dephosphorylated state. Notably, cells exposed to a negative PKA modulator and energized with NAD+-dependent substrates showed a significant decrease of the OXPHOS rate matching previously reported inactivation of complex I. Overall, this study definitively demonstrates that IF1 inhibits neither mitochondrial ATP synthase nor OXPHOS in normoxic cancer cells and does not contribute to the Warburg effect. Thus, currently the protection of cancer cells from severe hypoxia/anoxia and apoptosis remain the only unquestionable actions of IF1 as pro-oncogenic factors that may be exploited to develop therapeutic approaches.
    Keywords:  ATP synthase; Bioenergetics; Cancer metabolism; IF(1); Mitochondria; Warburg effect
  2. Mol Cancer Res. 2023 Sep 12.
      Acute myeloid leukemia (AML), an aggressive hematopoietic malignancy, exhibits poor prognosis and a high recurrence rate largely because of primary and secondary drug resistance. Elevated serum interleukin-6 (IL-6) levels have been observed in patients with AML and are associated with chemoresistance. Chemoresistant AML cells are highly dependent on oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS), and mitochondrial network remodeling is essential for mitochondrial function. However, IL-6-mediated regulation of mitochondrial remodeling and its effectiveness as a therapeutic target remain unclear. We aimed to determine the mechanisms through which IL-6 facilitates the development of chemoresistance in AML cells. IL-6 upregulated mitofusin 1 (MFN1)-mediated mitochondrial fusion, promoted OXPHOS, and induced chemoresistance in AML cells. MFN1 knockdown impaired the effects of IL-6 on mitochondrial function and chemoresistance in AML cells. In an MLL::AF9 fusion gene-induced AML mouse model, IL-6 reduced chemosensitivity to cytarabine (Ara-C), a commonly used anti-leukemia drug, accompanied by increased MFN1 expression, mitochondrial fusion, and OXPHOS status. In contrast, anti-IL-6 antibodies downregulated MFN1 expression, suppressed mitochondrial fusion and OXPHOS, enhanced the curative effects of Ara-C, and prolonged overall survival. In conclusion, IL-6 upregulated MFN1-mediated mitochondrial fusion in AML, which facilitated mitochondrial respiration, in turn, inducing chemoresistance. Thus, targeting IL-6 may have therapeutic implications in overcoming IL-6-mediated chemoresistance in AML. Implications: IL-6 treatment induces MFN1-mediated mitochondrial fusion, promotes OXPHOS, and confers chemoresistance in AML cells. Targeting IL-6 regulation in mitochondria is a promising therapeutic strategy to enhance the chemosensitivity of AML.
  3. bioRxiv. 2023 Sep 01. pii: 2023.08.31.555756. [Epub ahead of print]
      Peroxisome de novo biogenesis requires yet unidentified mitochondrial proteins. We report that the outer mitochondrial membrane (OMM)-associated E3 Ub ligase MARCH5 is vital for generating mitochondria-derived pre-peroxisomes. MARCH5 knockout results in accumulation of immature peroxisomes and lower expression of various peroxisomal proteins. Upon fatty acid-induced peroxisomal biogenesis, MARCH5 redistributes to newly formed peroxisomes; the peroxisomal biogenesis under these conditions is inhibited in MARCH5 knockout cells. MARCH5 activity-deficient mutants are stalled on peroxisomes and induce accumulation of peroxisomes containing high levels of the OMM protein Tom20 (mitochondria-derived pre-peroxisomes). Furthermore, depletion of peroxisome biogenesis factor Pex14 leads to the formation of MARCH5- and Tom20-positive peroxisomes, while no peroxisomes are detected in Pex14/MARCH5 dko cells. Reexpression of WT, but not MARCH5 mutants, restores Tom20-positive pre-peroxisomes in Pex14/MARCH5 dko cells. Thus, MARCH5 acts upstream of Pex14 in mitochondrial steps of peroxisome biogenesis. Our data validate the hybrid, mitochondria-dependent model of peroxisome biogenesis and reveal that MARCH5 is an essential mitochondrial protein in this process.Summary: The authors found that mitochondrial E3 Ub ligase MARCH5 controls the formation of mitochondria-derived pre-peroxisomes. The data support the hybrid, mitochondria-dependent model of peroxisome biogenesis and reveal that MARCH5 is an essential mitochondrial protein in this process.
  4. BMC Biol. 2023 09 12. 21(1): 193
      BACKGROUND: Prefoldin is an evolutionarily conserved co-chaperone of the tailless complex polypeptide 1 ring complex (TRiC)/chaperonin containing tailless complex 1 (CCT). The prefoldin complex consists of six subunits that are known to transfer newly produced cytoskeletal proteins to TRiC/CCT for folding polypeptides. Prefoldin function was recently linked to the maintenance of protein homeostasis, suggesting a more general function of the co-chaperone during cellular stress conditions. Prefoldin acts in an adenosine triphosphate (ATP)-independent manner, making it a suitable candidate to operate during stress conditions, such as mitochondrial dysfunction. Mitochondrial function depends on the production of mitochondrial proteins in the cytosol. Mechanisms that sustain cytosolic protein homeostasis are vital for the quality control of proteins destined for the organelle and such mechanisms among others include chaperones.RESULTS: We analyzed consequences of the loss of prefoldin subunits on the cell proliferation and survival of Saccharomyces cerevisiae upon exposure to various cellular stress conditions. We found that prefoldin subunits support cell growth under heat stress. Moreover, prefoldin facilitates the growth of cells under respiratory growth conditions. We showed that mitochondrial morphology and abundance of some respiratory chain complexes was supported by the prefoldin 2 (Pfd2/Gim4) subunit. We also found that Pfd2 interacts with Tom70, a receptor of mitochondrial precursor proteins that are targeted into mitochondria.
    CONCLUSIONS: Our findings link the cytosolic prefoldin complex to mitochondrial function. Loss of the prefoldin complex subunit Pfd2 results in adaptive cellular responses on the proteome level under physiological conditions suggesting a continuous need of Pfd2 for maintenance of cellular homeostasis. Within this framework, Pfd2 might support mitochondrial function directly as part of the cytosolic quality control system of mitochondrial proteins or indirectly as a component of the protein homeostasis network.
    Keywords:  Chaperone; Mitochondria; Pfd2/Gim4; Prefoldin; Proteostasis; Tom70
  5. Mol Cell. 2023 Sep 07. pii: S1097-2765(23)00656-1. [Epub ahead of print]
      Mitochondria are central hubs of cellular metabolism that also play key roles in signaling and disease. It is therefore fundamentally important that mitochondrial quality and activity are tightly regulated. Mitochondrial degradation pathways contribute to quality control of mitochondrial networks and can also regulate the metabolic profile of mitochondria to ensure cellular homeostasis. Here, we cover the many and varied ways in which cells degrade or remove their unwanted mitochondria, ranging from mitophagy to mitochondrial extrusion. The molecular signals driving these varied pathways are discussed, including the cellular and physiological contexts under which the different degradation pathways are engaged.
    Keywords:  MDV; PINK1; Parkin; degradation; mitochondria; mitochondrial quality control; mitophagy; proteasome; selective autophagy; ubiquitin
  6. Cell Chem Biol. 2023 Aug 31. pii: S2451-9456(23)00279-9. [Epub ahead of print]
      A challenge for screening new anticancer drugs is that efficacy in cell culture models is not always predictive of efficacy in patients. One limitation of standard cell culture is a reliance on non-physiological nutrient levels, which can influence cell metabolism and drug sensitivity. A general assessment of how physiological nutrients affect cancer cell response to small molecule therapies is lacking. To address this, we developed a serum-derived culture medium that supports the proliferation of diverse cancer cell lines and is amenable to high-throughput screening. We screened several small molecule libraries and found that compounds targeting metabolic enzymes were differentially effective in standard compared to serum-derived medium. We exploited the differences in nutrient levels between each medium to understand why medium conditions affected the response of cells to some compounds, illustrating how this approach can be used to screen potential therapeutics and understand how their efficacy is modified by available nutrients.
    Keywords:  Cancer cell metabolism; Culture media; Drug sensitivity; High-throughput screening; Nutrient environment; Phenotypic drug screening; Physiologic media
  7. Cancer Sci. 2023 Sep 12.
      Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma has a particularly poor prognosis as it is often detected at an advanced stage and acquires resistance to chemotherapy early during its course. Stress adaptations by mitochondria, such as metabolic plasticity and regulation of apoptosis, promote cancer cell survival; however, the relationship between mitochondrial dynamics and chemoresistance in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma remains unclear. We here established human pancreatic cancer cell lines resistant to gemcitabine from MIA PaCa-2 and Panc1 cells. We compared the cells before and after the acquisition of gemcitabine resistance to investigate the mitochondrial dynamics and protein expression that contribute to this resistance. The mitochondrial number increased in gemcitabine-resistant cells after resistance acquisition, accompanied by a decrease in mitochondrial fission 1 protein, which induces peripheral mitosis, leading to mitophagy. An increase in the number of mitochondria promoted oxidative phosphorylation and increased anti-apoptotic protein expression. Additionally, enhanced oxidative phosphorylation decreased the AMP/ATP ratio and suppressed AMPK activity, resulting in the activation of the HSF1-heat shock protein pathway, which is required for environmental stress tolerance. Synergistic effects observed with BCL2 family or HSF1 inhibition in combination with gemcitabine suggested that the upregulated expression of apoptosis-related proteins caused by the mitochondrial increase may contribute to gemcitabine resistance. The combination of gemcitabine with BCL2 or HSF1 inhibitors may represent a new therapeutic strategy for the treatment of acquired gemcitabine resistance in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma.
    Keywords:  AMPK; HSF1; gemcitabine; mitochondria; pancreatic cancer
  8. IUBMB Life. 2023 Sep 15.
      The complexes mediating oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) in the inner mitochondrial membrane consist of proteins encoded in the nuclear or the mitochondrial DNA. The mitochondrially encoded membrane proteins (mito-MPs) represent the catalytic core of these complexes and follow complicated pathways for biogenesis. Owing to their overall hydrophobicity, mito-MPs are co-translationally inserted into the inner membrane by the Oxa1 insertase. After insertion, OXPHOS biogenesis factors mediate the assembly of mito-MPs into complexes and participate in the regulation of mitochondrial translation, while protein quality control factors recognize and degrade faulty or excess proteins. This review summarizes the current understanding of these early steps occurring during the assembly of mito-MPs by concentrating on results obtained in the model organism baker's yeast.
    Keywords:  eukaryotic gene expression; mitochondria; protein folding; protein synthesis
  9. Curr Mol Pharmacol. 2023 Sep 06.
      BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE: Disease relapse and therapy resistance remain serious impediments to treating cancer. Leukemia stem cells (LSC) are therapy resistant and the cause of relapse. A state of deep quiescence appears to enable cancer stem cells (CSC) to acquire new somatic mutations essential for disease progression and therapy resistance. Both normal hematopoietic stem cells (HSC) and LSC share many common features, thereby complicating the safe elimination of LSC. A recent study demonstrated that long lived normal oocytes exist without mitochondrial complex I (MC-1), expressing it in a developmentally regulated fashion, thereby mitigating their vulnerability to ROS. Quiescent CSC rely on mitochondrial FAO, without complex I expression, thereby avoiding the generation of damaging ROS, similar to long lived normal human stem cells. A deeper understanding of the biology of therapy resistance is important for the development of optimal strategies to attain complete leukemia cures.METHODS: Here, using scRNA-sequencing and ATAC-seq on primary chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML) patient samples, combined with bioinformatics analyses, we further examine the heterogeneity of a previously characterized in vitro imatinib-selected CD34-CD38- CML LSC population. We utilized a series of functional analyses, including single-cell metabolomic and Seahorse analyses, to validate the existence of the deepest quiescent leukemia initiators (LI) subset.
    RESULTS: Current study revealed heterogeneity of therapy resistant LSC in CML patients and their existence of two functionally distinct states. The most deeply quiescent LI suppress the expression of MC-1, yet are highly dependent on fatty acid oxidation (FAO) for their metabolic requirements and ATAC-seq demonstrated increased chromatin accessibility in this population, all consistent with an extremely primitive, quiescent stemness transcriptional signature. Importantly, the specific CREB binding protein (CBP)/β-catenin antagonist ICG-001 initiates the differentiation of LSC, including LI, decreases chromatin accessibility with differentiation and increasing expression of MC-1, CD34, CD38 and BCR-ABL1, thereby re-sensitizing them to imatinib.
    CONCLUSION: We investigated the biological aspects related to LSC heterogeneity in CML patients and demonstrated the ability of specific small molecule CBP/β-catenin antagonists to safely eliminate deeply quiescent therapy resistant CSC. These observations may represent an attractive generalizable therapeutic strategy that could help develop better protocols to eradicate the quiescent LSC population.
    Keywords:  CBP; CML; ICG-00; ICG-00CML; LI; LSC; MC-1; metabolism
  10. Cancer Res. 2023 Sep 13.
      Multiple myeloma (MM) remains an incurable malignancy due to acquisition of intrinsic programs that drive therapy resistance. Here we report that casein kinase-1δ (CK1δ) and CK1ε are therapeutic targets in MM that are necessary to sustain mitochondrial metabolism. Specifically, the dual CK1δ/CK1ε inhibitor SR-3029 had potent in vivo and ex vivo anti-MM activity, including against primary MM patient specimens. RNA sequencing (RNA-seq) and metabolic analyses revealed inhibiting CK1δ/CK1ε disables MM metabolism by suppressing genes involved in oxidative phosphorylation (OxPhos), reducing citric acid cycle intermediates, and suppressing Complexes I and IV of the electron transport chain. Finally, sensitivity of MM patient specimens to SR-3029 correlated with elevated expression of mitochondrial genes, and RNA-seq from 687 MM patient samples revealed that increased CSNK1D, CSNK1E, and OxPhos genes correlates with disease progression and inferior outcomes. Thus, increases in mitochondrial metabolism are a hallmark of MM progression that can be disabled by targeting CK1δ/CK1ε.
  11. Trends Biochem Sci. 2023 Sep 11. pii: S0968-0004(23)00213-X. [Epub ahead of print]
      Mitochondrial dysfunction is a central hallmark of aging and energy transduction is a promising target for longevity interventions. New research suggests that interventions in how energy is transduced could benefit healthy longevity. Here, we propose using light as an alternative energy source to fuel mitochondria and increase metazoan lifespan.
    Keywords:  bioenergetics; lifespan; metabolism; mitochondria; optogenetics; proton pump
  12. Front Oncol. 2023 ;13 1218735
      Gastrointestinal malignancies, including colon adenocarcinoma (COAD) and liver hepatocellular carcinoma (LIHC), remain leading causes of cancer-related deaths worldwide. To better understand the underlying mechanisms of these cancers and identify potential therapeutic targets, we analyzed publicly accessible Cancer Genome Atlas datasets of COAD and LIHC. Our analysis revealed that differentially expressed genes (DEGs) during early tumorigenesis were associated with cell cycle regulation. Additionally, genes related to lipid metabolism were significantly enriched in both COAD and LIHC, suggesting a crucial role for dysregulated lipid metabolism in their development and progression. We also identified a subset of DEGs associated with mitochondrial function and structure, including upregulated genes involved in mitochondrial protein import and respiratory complex assembly. Further, we identified mitochondrial 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-CoA synthase (HMGCS2) as a crucial regulator of cancer cell metabolism. Using a genome-scale metabolic model, we demonstrated that HMGCS2 suppression increased glycolysis, lipid biosynthesis, and elongation while decreasing fatty acid oxidation in colon cancer cells. Our study highlights the potential contribution of dysregulated lipid metabolism, including ketogenesis, to COAD and LIHC development and progression and identifies potential therapeutic targets for these malignancies.
    Keywords:  3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-CoA synthase 2 (HMGCS2); colon cancer; hepatocellular carcinoma; metabolic reprogramming; mitochondria
  13. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2023 Sep 19. 120(38): e2302489120
      Loss of estrogen receptor (ER) pathway activity promotes breast cancer progression, yet how this occurs remains poorly understood. Here, we show that serine starvation, a metabolic stress often found in breast cancer, represses estrogen receptor alpha (ERα) signaling by reprogramming glucose metabolism and epigenetics. Using isotope tracing and time-resolved metabolomic analyses, we demonstrate that serine is required to maintain glucose flux through glycolysis and the TCA cycle to support acetyl-CoA generation for histone acetylation. Consequently, limiting serine depletes histone H3 lysine 27 acetylation (H3K27ac), particularly at the promoter region of ER pathway genes including the gene encoding ERα, ESR1. Mechanistically, serine starvation impairs acetyl-CoA-dependent gene expression by inhibiting the entry of glycolytic carbon into the TCA cycle and down-regulating the mitochondrial citrate exporter SLC25A1, a critical enzyme in the production of nucleocytosolic acetyl-CoA from glucose. Consistent with this model, total H3K27ac and ERα expression are suppressed by SLC25A1 inhibition and restored by acetate, an alternate source of acetyl-CoA, in serine-free conditions. We thus uncover an unexpected role for serine in sustaining ER signaling through the regulation of acetyl-CoA metabolism.
    Keywords:  SLC25A1; breast cancer; estrogen receptor; histone acetylation; serine metabolism
  14. Biochimie. 2023 Sep 08. pii: S0300-9084(23)00215-8. [Epub ahead of print]
      Mitochondrial gene editing holds great promise as a therapeutic approach for mitochondrial diseases caused by mutations in the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA). Current strategies focus on reducing mutant mtDNA heteroplasmy levels through targeted cleavage or base editing. However, the delivery of editing components into mitochondria remains a challenge. Here we investigate the import of CRISPR-Cas12a system guide RNAs (crRNAs) into human mitochondria and study the structural requirements for this process by northern blot analysis of RNA isolated from nucleases-treated mitoplasts. To investigate whether the fusion of crRNA with known RNA import determinants (MLS) improve its mitochondrial targeting, we added MLS hairpin structures at 3'-end of crRNA and demonstrated that this did not impact crRNA ability to program specific cleavage of DNA in lysate of human cells expressing AsCas12a nuclease. Surprisingly, mitochondrial localization of the fused crRNA molecules was not improved compared to non-modified version, indicating that structured scaffold domain of crRNA can probably function as MLS, assuring crRNA mitochondrial import. Then, we designed a series of crRNAs targeting different regions of mtDNA and demonstrated their ability to program specific cleavage of mtDNA fragments in cell lysate and their partial localization in mitochondrial matrix in human cells transfected with these RNA molecules. We hypothesize that mitochondrial import of crRNAs may depend on their secondary structure/sequence. We presume that imported crRNA allow reconstituting the active crRNA/Cas12a system in human mitochondria, which can contribute to the development of effective strategies for mitochondrial gene editing and potential future treatment of mitochondrial diseases.
    Keywords:  Cas12a; Human mitochondria; MitoCRISPR; RNA import; Targeting; crRNA
  15. Br J Cancer. 2023 Sep 09.
      Fumarate hydratase (FH) is an enzyme of the Tricarboxylic Acid (TCA) cycle whose mutations lead to hereditary and sporadic forms of cancer. Although more than twenty years have passed since its discovery as the leading cause of the cancer syndrome Hereditary leiomyomatosis and Renal Cell Carcinoma (HLRCC), it is still unclear how the loss of FH causes cancer in a tissue-specific manner and with such aggressive behaviour. It has been shown that FH loss, via the accumulation of FH substrate fumarate, activates a series of oncogenic cascades whose contribution to transformation is still under investigation. In this review, we will summarise these recent findings in an integrated fashion and put forward the case that understanding the biology of FH and how its mutations promote transformation will be vital to establish novel paradigms of oncometabolism.
  16. Cancer Metab. 2023 Sep 13. 11(1): 15
      Hypercholesterolemia is often correlated with obesity which is considered a risk factor for various cancers. With the growing population of hypercholesterolemic individuals, there is a need to understand the role of increased circulatory cholesterol or dietary cholesterol intake towards cancer etiology and pathology. Recently, abnormality in the blood cholesterol level of colon cancer patients has been reported. In the present study, we demonstrate that alteration in cholesterol levels (through a high-cholesterol or high-fat diet) increases the incidence of chemical carcinogen-induced colon polyp occurrence and tumor progression in mice. At the cellular level, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDLc) and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDLc) promote colon cancer cell proliferation by tuning the cellular glucose and lipid metabolism. Mechanistically, supplementation of LDLc or HDLc promotes cellular glucose uptake, and utilization, thereby, causing an increase in lactate production by colon cancer cells. Moreover, LDLc or HDLc upregulates aerobic glycolysis, causing an increase in total ATP production through glycolysis, and a decrease in ATP generation by OXPHOS. Interestingly, the shift in the metabolic status towards a more glycolytic phenotype upon the availability of cholesterol supports rapid cell proliferation. Additionally, an alteration in the expression of the molecules involved in cholesterol uptake along with the increase in lipid and cholesterol accumulation was observed in cells supplemented with LDLc or HDLc. These results indicate that colon cancer cells directly utilize the cholesterol associated with LDLc or HDLc. Moreover, targeting glucose metabolism through LDH inhibitor (oxamate) drastically abrogates the cellular proliferation induced by LDLc or HDLc. Collectively, we illustrate the vital role of cholesterol in regulating the cellular glucose and lipid metabolism of cancer cells and its direct effect on the colon tumorigenesis.
    Keywords:  Cholesterol; Colon cancer; Glucose metabolism; HDLc; LDLc; Lipid metabolism
  17. Biochim Biophys Acta Biomembr. 2023 Sep 11. pii: S0005-2736(23)00111-6. [Epub ahead of print]1866(1): 184229
      Some recent literature experimental data indicate that the mitochondrial ATP synthesis might be not solely H+-driven, but K+,H+ symport-driven membrane potential-dependent, considered as a further development of Mitchell's chemiosmotic theory, in contrast to the anti-Mitchell's hypothesis of K+/H+ antiport-driven mechanism. In this short communication, the attention was pointed to a possible influence of the ionic strength of the used KCl incubation medium, versus of only K+ ions, and of the Mg2+-induced mitochondrial aggregation in the sucrose medium on the reported rates of the mitochondrial respiration and ATP synthesis. These observations were based on the own author's experimental works published earlier.
    Keywords:  Electrical neutrality principle; Energy coupling; FoF1-ATP synthase; Mitchell's chemiosmotic theory; Mitochondrial ATP synthesis
  18. Life Sci Alliance. 2023 Dec;pii: e202302091. [Epub ahead of print]6(12):
      Mitochondria are central to numerous metabolic pathways whereby mitochondrial dysfunction has a profound impact and can manifest in disease. The consequences of mitochondrial dysfunction can be ameliorated by adaptive responses that rely on crosstalk from the mitochondria to the rest of the cell. Such mito-cellular signalling slows cell cycle progression in mitochondrial DNA-deficient (ρ0) Saccharomyces cerevisiae cells, but the initial trigger of the response has not been thoroughly studied. Here, we show that decreased mitochondrial membrane potential (ΔΨm) acts as the initial signal of mitochondrial stress that delays G1-to-S phase transition in both ρ0 and control cells containing mtDNA. Accordingly, experimentally increasing ΔΨm was sufficient to restore timely cell cycle progression in ρ0 cells. In contrast, cellular levels of oxidative stress did not correlate with the G1-to-S delay. Restored G1-to-S transition in ρ0 cells with a recovered ΔΨm is likely attributable to larger cell size, whereas the timing of G1/S transcription remained delayed. The identification of ΔΨm as a regulator of cell cycle progression may have implications for disease states involving mitochondrial dysfunction.
  19. Cell Rep. 2023 Sep 12. pii: S2211-1247(23)01044-6. [Epub ahead of print]42(9): 113033
      Signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) is a potent transcription factor necessary for life whose activity is corrupted in diverse diseases, including cancer. STAT3 biology was presumed to be entirely dependent on its activity as a transcription factor until the discovery of a mitochondrial pool of STAT3, which is necessary for normal tissue function and tumorigenesis. However, the mechanism of this mitochondrial activity remained elusive. This study uses immunoprecipitation and mass spectrometry to identify a complex containing STAT3, leucine-rich pentatricopeptide repeat containing (LRPPRC), and SRA stem-loop-interacting RNA-binding protein (SLIRP) that is required for the stability of mature mitochondrially encoded mRNAs and transport to the mitochondrial ribosome. Moreover, we show that this complex is enriched in patients with lung adenocarcinoma and that its deletion inhibits the growth of lung cancer in vivo, providing therapeutic opportunities through the specific targeting of the mitochondrial activity of STAT3.
    Keywords:  CP: Cancer; CP: Molecular biology; LRPPRC; SLIRP; STAT3; lung adenocarcinoma; mRNA stability; mitochondria
  20. Cell Rep. 2023 Sep 06. pii: S2211-1247(23)01092-6. [Epub ahead of print] 113081
      Sphingolipids have key functions in membrane structure and cellular signaling. Ceramide is the central molecule of the sphingolipid metabolism and is generated by ceramide synthases (CerS) in the de novo pathway. Despite their critical function, mechanisms regulating CerS remain largely unknown. Using an unbiased proteomics approach, we find that the small heat shock protein 27 (Hsp27) interacts specifically with CerS1 but not other CerS. Functionally, our data show that Hsp27 acts as an endogenous inhibitor of CerS1. Wild-type Hsp27, but not a mutant deficient in CerS1 binding, inhibits CerS1 activity. Additionally, silencing of Hsp27 enhances CerS1-generated ceramide accumulation in cells. Moreover, phosphorylation of Hsp27 modulates Hsp27-CerS1 interaction and CerS1 activity in acute stress-response conditions. Biologically, we show that Hsp27 knockdown impedes mitochondrial function and induces lethal mitophagy in a CerS1-dependent manner. Overall, we identify an important mode of CerS1 regulation and CerS1-mediated mitophagy through protein-protein interaction with Hsp27.
    Keywords:  C18-ceramide; CP: Molecular biology; CerS1; Hsp27; ceramide; ceramide synthase; mitophagy; sphingolipids
  21. J Clin Biochem Nutr. 2023 Sep;73(2): 161-171
      Metabolic differences between colorectal cancer (CRC) and NI (NI) play an important role in early diagnoses and in-time treatments. We investigated the metabolic alterations between CRC patients and NI, and identified some potential biomarkers, and these biomarkers might be used as indicators for diagnosis of CRC. In this study, there were 79 NI, 50 CRC I patients, 52 CRC II patients, 56 CRC III patients, and 52 CRC IV patients. MS-MS was used to measure the metabolic alterations. Univariate and multivariate data analysis and metabolic pathway analysis were applied to analyze metabolic data and determine differential metabolites. These indicators revealed that amino acid and fatty acids could separate these groups. Several metabolites indicated an excellent variables capability in the separation of CRC patients and NI. Ornithine, arginine, octadecanoyl carnitine, palmitoyl carnitine, adipoyl carnitine, and butyryl carnitine/propanoyl carnitine were selected to distinguish the CRC patients and NI. And methionine and propanoyl carnitine, were directly linked to different stages of CRC. Receiver operating characteristics curves and variables importance in projection both represented an excellent performance of these metabolites. In conclusion, we assessed the difference between CRC patients and NI, which supports guidelines for an early diagnosis and effective treatment.
    Keywords:  MS/MS; biomarkers; colorectal cancer; metabolomics; statistical analysis
  22. Br J Haematol. 2023 Sep 14.
      Venetoclax (VEN) is an FDA-approved selective inhibitor of B-cell leukaemia/lymphoma-2 (BCL-2), used for treating elderly or unfit acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) patients unable to undergo intensive chemotherapy. Combining VEN with hypomethylating agents (HMAs) has shown impressive response rates in high-risk myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) and relapsed/refractory AML. However, the efficacy of VEN and HMAs in treating DDX41-mutated (mDDX41) MDS/AML patients remains uncertain. Despite the favourable prognostic nature of mDDX41 MDS/AML patients, there is a lack of clinical experience regarding their response to different treatment regimens, leading to an unknown optimal therapeutic approach.
    Keywords:   DDX41 ; hypomethylating agents; response; treatment; venetoclax
  23. Nature. 2023 Sep 13.
    Keywords:  Cancer; Medical research; Stem cells
  24. Commun Biol. 2023 09 09. 6(1): 926
      Cytosolic citrate is imported from the mitochondria by SLC25A1, and from the extracellular milieu by SLC13A5. In the cytosol, citrate is used by ACLY to generate acetyl-CoA, which can then be exported to the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) by SLC33A1. Here, we report the generation of mice with systemic overexpression (sTg) of SLC25A1 or SLC13A5. Both animals displayed increased cytosolic levels of citrate and acetyl-CoA; however, SLC13A5 sTg mice developed a progeria-like phenotype with premature death, while SLC25A1 sTg mice did not. Analysis of the metabolic profile revealed widespread differences. Furthermore, SLC13A5 sTg mice displayed increased engagement of the ER acetylation machinery through SLC33A1, while SLC25A1 sTg mice did not. In conclusion, our findings point to different biological responses to SLC13A5- or SLC25A1-mediated import of citrate and suggest that the directionality of the citrate/acetyl-CoA pathway can transduce different signals.
  25. J Biol Chem. 2023 Sep 08. pii: S0021-9258(23)02269-X. [Epub ahead of print] 105241
      Respiratory complexes and cardiolipins have exceptionally long lifetimes. The fact that they co-localize in mitochondrial cristae raises the questions of whether their longevities have a common cause and whether the longevity of OXPHOS proteins is dependent on cardiolipin. To address these questions, we developed a method to measure side-by-side the half-lives of proteins and lipids in wildtype Drosophila and cardiolipin deficient mutants. We fed adult flies with stable isotope-labeled precursors (13C615N2-lysine or 13C6-glucose) and determined the relative abundance of heavy isotopomers in protein and lipid species by mass spectrometry. To minimize confounding effects of tissue regeneration, we restricted our analysis to the thorax, the bulk of which consists of post-mitotic flight muscles. Analysis of 680 protein and 45 lipid species showed that the subunits of respiratory complexes I-V and the carriers for phosphate and ADP/ATP were among the longest-lived proteins (average half-life of 48±16 days) while the molecular species of cardiolipin were the longest-lived lipids (average half-life of 27±6 days). The remarkable longevity of these crista residents was not shared by all mitochondrial proteins, especially not by those residing in the matrix and the inner boundary membrane. Ablation of cardiolipin synthase, which causes replacement of cardiolipin by phosphatidylglycerol, and ablation of tafazzin, which causes partial replacement of cardiolipin by monolyso-cardiolipin, decreased the lifetimes of the respiratory complexes. Ablation of tafazzin also decreased the lifetimes of the remaining cardiolipin species. These data suggest that an important function of cardiolipin in mitochondria is to protect respiratory complexes from degradation.
    Keywords:  Insect; isotopic tracer; lipid-protein interaction; membrane biogenesis; mitochondrial respiratory chain complex
  26. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2023 Sep 19. 120(38): e2218150120
      The endothelium is a major target of the proinflammatory cytokine, tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFα). Exposure of endothelial cells (EC) to proinflammatory stimuli leads to an increase in mitochondrial metabolism; however, the function and regulation of elevated mitochondrial metabolism in EC in response to proinflammatory cytokines remain unclear. Studies using high-resolution metabolomics and 13C-glucose and 13C-glutamine labeling flux techniques showed that pyruvate dehydrogenase activity (PDH) and oxidative tricarboxylic acid cycle (TCA) flux are elevated in human umbilical vein ECs in response to overnight (16 h) treatment with TNFα (10 ng/mL). Mechanistic studies indicated that TNFα mediated these metabolic changes via mitochondrial-specific protein degradation of pyruvate dehydrogenase kinase 4 (PDK4, inhibitor of PDH) by the Lon protease via an NF-κB-dependent mechanism. Using RNA sequencing following siRNA-mediated knockdown of the catalytically active subunit of PDH, PDHE1α (PDHA1 gene), we show that PDH flux controls the transcription of approximately one-third of the genes that are up-regulated by TNFα stimulation. Notably, TNFα-induced PDH flux regulates a unique signature of proinflammatory mediators (cytokines and chemokines) but not inducible adhesion molecules. Metabolomics and ChIP sequencing for acetylated modification on lysine 27 of histone 3 (H3K27ac) showed that TNFα-induced PDH flux promotes histone acetylation of specific gene loci via citrate accumulation and ATP-citrate lyase-mediated generation of acetyl CoA. Together, these results uncover a mechanism by which TNFα signaling increases oxidative TCA flux of glucose to support TNFα-induced gene transcription through extramitochondrial acetyl CoA generation and histone acetylation.
    Keywords:  TNF; endothelium; gene expression; inflammation; vascular
  27. Cancer Res. 2023 Sep 11.
      Pancreatic cancer is a highly lethal disease with obesity as one of the risk factors. Oncogenic KRAS mutations are prevalent in pancreatic cancer and can rewire lipid metabolism by altering fatty acid (FA) uptake, FA oxidation (FAO), and lipogenesis. Identification of the underlying mechanisms could lead to improved therapeutic strategies for treating KRAS mutant pancreatic cancer. Here, we observed that KRASG12D upregulated the expression of SLC25A1, a citrate transporter that is a key metabolic switch to mediate FAO, fatty acid synthesis (FAS), glycolysis, and gluconeogenesis. In genetically engineered mouse models and human pancreatic cancer cells, KRASG12D induced SLC25A1 upregulation via GLI1, which directly stimulated SLC25A1 transcription by binding its promoter. The enhanced expression of SLC25A1 increased levels of cytosolic citrate, FAs, and key enzymes in lipid metabolism. In addition, a high-fat diet (HFD) further stimulated the KRASG12D-GLI1-SLC25A1 axis and the associated increase in citrate and FAs. Pharmacological inhibition of SLC25A1 and upstream GLI1 significantly suppressed pancreatic tumorigenesis in KrasG12D/+ mice on a HFD. These results reveal a KRASG12D-GLI1-SLC25A1 regulatory axis with SLC25A1 as an important node that regulates lipid metabolism during pancreatic tumorigenesis, thus indicating an intervention strategy for oncogenic KRAS-driven pancreatic cancer.
  28. Nat Commun. 2023 Sep 15. 14(1): 5728
      Arachidonic and adrenic acids in the membrane play key roles in ferroptosis. Here, we reveal that lipoprotein-associated phospholipase A2 (Lp-PLA2) controls intracellular phospholipid metabolism and contributes to ferroptosis resistance. A metabolic drug screen reveals that darapladib, an inhibitor of Lp-PLA2, synergistically induces ferroptosis in the presence of GPX4 inhibitors. We show that darapladib is able to enhance ferroptosis under lipoprotein-deficient or serum-free conditions. Furthermore, we find that Lp-PLA2 is located in the membrane and cytoplasm and suppresses ferroptosis, suggesting a critical role for intracellular Lp-PLA2. Lipidomic analyses show that darapladib treatment or deletion of PLA2G7, which encodes Lp-PLA2, generally enriches phosphatidylethanolamine species and reduces lysophosphatidylethanolamine species. Moreover, combination treatment of darapladib with the GPX4 inhibitor PACMA31 efficiently inhibits tumour growth in a xenograft model. Our study suggests that inhibition of Lp-PLA2 is a potential therapeutic strategy to enhance ferroptosis in cancer treatment.