bims-stacyt Biomed News
on Metabolism and the paracrine crosstalk between cancer and the organism
Issue of 2024‒03‒10
five papers selected by
Cristina Muñoz Pinedo, L’Institut d’Investigació Biomèdica de Bellvitge

  1. Brain Res. 2024 Mar 05. pii: S0006-8993(24)00103-3. [Epub ahead of print] 148849
      The present study focused on whether hypoxia-inducible factor-1alpha (HIF-1α) and platelet-derived factor-beta (PDGF-β) are involved in the crosstalk between brain microvascular endothelial cells (BMECs) and brain vascular pericytes (BVPs) under ischaemic-hypoxic conditions. Mono-cultures or co-cultures of BVPs and BMECs were made for the construction of the blood-brain barrier (BBB) model in vitro and then exposed to control and oxygen-glucose deprivation (OGD) conditions. BBB injury was determined by assessing the ability, apoptosis, and migration of BVPs and the transendothelial electrical resistance and horseradish peroxidase permeation of BMECs. Relative mRNA and protein levels of HIF-1α and PDGF-β, as well as tight junction proteins ZO-1 and claudin-5 were analyzed by western blotting, reverse transcription quantitative PCR, and/or immunofluorescence staining. Dual-luciferase reporter assays assessed the relationship between PDGF-β and HIF-1α. Co-culturing with BMECs alleviated OGD-induced reduction in BVP viability, elevation in BVP apoptosis, and repression in BVP migration. Co-culturing with BVPs protected against OGD-induced impairment on BMEC permeability. OGD-induced HIF-1α upregulation enhanced PDGF-β expression in mono-cultured BMECs and co-cultured BMECs with BVPs. Knockdown of HIF-1α impaired the effect of BMECs on BVPs under OGD conditions, and PDGFR-β silencing in BVPs blocked the crosstalk between BMECs and BVPs under OGD conditions. The crosstalk between BMECs and BVPs was implicated in OGD-induced BBB injury through the HIF-1α/PDGF-β signaling.
    Keywords:  BMECs; Blood-brain barrier; Crosstalk; Deprivation; Oxygen-glucose
  2. Cancer Lett. 2024 Mar 05. pii: S0304-3835(24)00185-X. [Epub ahead of print] 216792
      The resistance of glioblastomas (GBM) to standard therapies poses a clinical challenge with limited survival despite interventions. The tumor microenvironment (TME) orchestrates GBM progression, comprising stromal and immune cells and is characterized by extensive hypoxic regions. Hypoxia activates the hypoxia-inducible factor 1 alpha (HIF-1α) pathway, interacting with the Hippo pathway (YAP/TAZ) in crucial cellular processes. We discuss here the related signaling crosstalk between YAP/TAZ and regions of hypoxia in the TME with particular attention on the MST1/2 and LATS1/2-regulated YAP/TAZ activation, impacting cell proliferation, invasion, and stemness. Moreover, the hypoxia-YAP/TAZ axis influence on angiogenesis, stem cells, and metabolic regulators is defined. By reviewing extracellular matrix alterations activation of YAP/TAZ, modulation of signaling pathways we also discuss the significance of spatial constraints and epigenetic modifications contribution to GBM progression, with potential therapeutic targets in YAP/TAZ-mediated gene regulation. Comprehensive understanding of the hypoxia-Hippo pathway-TME interplay offers insights for novel therapeutic strategies, aiming to provide new directions for treatment.
    Keywords:  Glioblastoma; Hippo; Hypoxia; Tumor microenvironment; YAP/TAZ
  3. Metabolism. 2024 Mar 02. pii: S0026-0495(24)00058-1. [Epub ahead of print] 155832
      Interleukin (IL)-6 has anti- and pro-inflammatory functions, controlled by IL-6 classic and trans-signaling, respectively. Differences in the downstream signaling mechanism between IL-6 classic and trans-signaling have not been identified. Here, we report that IL-6 activates glycolysis to regulate the inflammatory response. IL-6 regulates glucose metabolism by forming a complex containing signal-transducing activators of transcription 3 (STAT3), hexokinase 2 (HK2), and voltage-dependent anion channel 1 (VDAC1). The IL-6 classic signaling directs glucose flux to oxidative phosphorylation (OxPhos), while IL-6 trans-signaling directs glucose flux to anaerobic glycolysis. Classic IL-6 signaling promotes STAT3 translocation into mitochondria to interact with pyruvate dehydrogenase kinase-1 (PDK1), leading to pyruvate dehydrogenase α (PDHA) dissociation from PDK1. As a result, PDHA is dephosphorylated, and STAT3 is phosphorylated at Ser727. By contrast, IL-6 trans-signaling promotes the interaction of sirtuin 2 (SIRT2) and lactate dehydrogenase A (LDHA), leading to the dissociation of STAT3 from SIRT2. As a result, LDHA is deacetylated, and STAT3 is acetylated and phosphorylated at Tyr705. IL-6 classic signaling promotes the differentiation of regulatory T cells via the PDK1/STAT3/PDHA axis, whereas IL-6 trans-signaling promotes the differentiation of Th17 cells via the SIRT2/STAT3/LDHA axis. Conclusion: IL-6 classic signaling generates anti-inflammatory functions by shifting energy metabolism to OxPhos, while IL-6 trans-signaling generates pro-inflammatory functions by shifting energy metabolism to anaerobic glycolysis.
    Keywords:  Glucose metabolism; Inflammatory functions; Interleukin-6
  4. Cancer Res. 2024 Mar 04. 84(5): 648-649
      Cancer aggressiveness has been linked with obesity, and studies have shown that adipose tissue can enhance cancer progression. In this issue of Cancer Research, Hosni and colleagues discover a paracrine mechanism mediated by adipocyte precursor cells through which urothelial carcinomas become resistant to erdafitinib, a recently approved therapy inhibiting fibroblast growth factor receptors (FGFR). They identified neuregulin 1 (NRG1) secreted by adipocyte precursor cells as an activator of HER3 signaling that enables resistance. The NRG1-mediated FGFR inhibitor resistance was amenable to intervention with pertuzumab, an antibody blocking the NRG1/HER3 axis. To investigate the nature of the resistance-associated NRG1-expressing cells in human patients, the authors analyzed published single-cell RNA sequencing data and observed that such cells appear in a cluster assigned as inflammatory cancer-associated fibroblasts (iCAF). Notably, the gene signature corresponding to these CAFs is highly similar to that shared by adipose stromal cells (ASC) in fat tissue and fibro-adipogenic progenitors (FAP) in skeletal muscle of cancer-free individuals. Because fibroblasts with the ASC/FAP signature are enriched in various carcinomas, it is possible that the paracrine signaling conferred by NRG1 is a pan-cancer mechanism of FGFR inhibitor resistance and tumor aggressiveness. See related article by Hosni et al., p. 725.
  5. Innovation (Camb). 2024 Mar 04. 5(2): 100583
      The tumor microenvironment is composed of a complex mixture of different cell types interacting under conditions of nutrient deprivation, but the metabolism therein is not fully understood due to difficulties in measuring metabolic fluxes and exchange of metabolites between different cell types in vivo. Genome-scale metabolic modeling enables estimation of such exchange fluxes as well as an opportunity to gain insight into the metabolic behavior of individual cell types. Here, we estimated the availability of nutrients and oxygen within the tumor microenvironment using concentration measurements from blood together with a metabolite diffusion model. In addition, we developed an approach to efficiently apply enzyme usage constraints in a comprehensive metabolic model of human cells. The combined modeling reproduced severe hypoxic conditions and the Warburg effect, and we found that limitations in enzymatic capacity contribute to cancer cells' preferential use of glutamine as a substrate to the citric acid cycle. Furthermore, we investigated the common hypothesis that some stromal cells are exploited by cancer cells to produce metabolites useful for the cancer cells. We identified over 200 potential metabolites that could support collaboration between cancer cells and cancer-associated fibroblasts, but when limiting to metabolites previously identified to participate in such collaboration, no growth advantage was observed. Our work highlights the importance of enzymatic capacity limitations for cell behaviors and exemplifies the utility of enzyme-constrained models for accurate prediction of metabolism in cells and tumor microenvironments.