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1.  Dysfunctional mitochondrial bioenergetics and the pathogenesis of hepatic disorders 
The liver is involved in a variety of critical biological functions including the homeostasis of glucose, fatty acids, amino acids, and the synthesis of proteins that are secreted in the blood. It is also at the forefront in the detoxification of noxious metabolites that would otherwise upset the functioning of the body. As such, this vital component of the mammalian system is exposed to a notable quantity of toxicants on a regular basis. It therefore comes as no surprise that there are over a hundred disparate hepatic disorders, encompassing such afflictions as fatty liver disease, hepatitis, and liver cancer. Most if not all of liver functions are dependent on energy, an ingredient that is primarily generated by the mitochondrion, the power house of all cells. This organelle is indispensable in providing adenosine triphosphate (ATP), a key effector of most biological processes. Dysfunctional mitochondria lead to a shortage in ATP, the leakage of deleterious reactive oxygen species (ROS), and the excessive storage of fats. Here we examine how incapacitated mitochondrial bioenergetics triggers the pathogenesis of various hepatic diseases. Exposure of liver cells to detrimental environmental hazards such as oxidative stress, metal toxicity, and various xenobiotics results in the inactivation of crucial mitochondrial enzymes and decreased ATP levels. The contribution of the latter to hepatic disorders and potential therapeutic cues to remedy these conditions are elaborated.
PMCID: PMC4479819  PMID: 26161384
mitochondrial dysfunction; energy; metabolism; liver disorders; hepatocytes
2.  Energy, the driving force behind good and ill health 
PMCID: PMC4207044  PMID: 25364735
mitochondria; energy metabolism; metabolism; enzymology; bioenergetics
3.  α-Ketoglutarate Accumulation Is Not Dependent on Isocitrate Dehydrogenase Activity during Tellurite Detoxification in Escherichia coli 
BioMed Research International  2013;2013:784190.
Tellurite is toxic to most microorganisms because of its ability to generate oxidative stress. However, the way in which tellurite interferes with cellular processes is not fully understood to date. In this line, it was previously shown that tellurite-exposed cells displayed reduced activity of the α-ketoglutarate dehydrogenase complex (α-KGDH), which resulted in α-ketoglutarate (α-KG) accumulation. In this work, we assessed if α-KG accumulation in tellurite-exposed E. coli could also result from increased isocitrate dehydrogenase (ICDH) and glutamate dehydrogenase (GDH) activities, both enzymes involved in α-KG synthesis. Unexpectedly both activities were found to decrease in the presence of the toxicant, an observation that seems to result from the decreased transcription of icdA and gdhA genes (encoding ICDH and GDH, resp.). Accordingly, isocitrate levels were found to increase in tellurite-exposed E. coli. In the presence of the toxicant, cells lacking icdA or gdhA exhibited decreased reactive oxygen species (ROS) levels and higher tellurite sensitivity as compared to the wild type strain. Finally, a novel branch activity of ICDH as tellurite reductase is presented.
PMCID: PMC3859025  PMID: 24371831
4.  The Metabolic Reprogramming Evoked by Nitrosative Stress Triggers the Anaerobic Utilization of Citrate in Pseudomonas fluorescens 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(12):e28469.
Nitrosative stress is an ongoing challenge that most organisms have to contend with. When nitric oxide (NO) that may be generated either exogenously or endogenously encounters reactive oxygen species (ROS), it produces a set of toxic moieties referred to as reactive nitrogen species (RNS). As these RNS can severely damage essential biomolecules, numerous organisms have evolved elaborate detoxification strategies to nullify RNS. However, the contribution of cellular metabolism in fending off nitrosative stress is poorly understood. Using a variety of functional proteomic and metabolomic analyses, we have identified how the soil microbe Pseudomonas fluorescens reprogrammed its metabolic networks to survive in an environment enriched by sodium nitroprusside (SNP), a generator of nitrosative stress. To combat the RNS-induced ineffective aconitase (ACN) and tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle, the microbe invoked the participation of citrate lyase (CL), phosphoenolpyruvate carboxylase (PEPC) and pyruvate phosphate dikinase (PPDK) to convert citrate, the sole source of carbon into pyruvate and ATP. These enzymes were not evident in the control conditions. This metabolic shift was coupled to the concomitant increase in the activities of such classical RNS detoxifiers as nitrate reductase (NR), nitrite reductase (NIR) and S-nitrosoglutathione reductase (GSNOR). Hence, metabolism may hold the clues to the survival of organisms subjected to nitrosative stress and may provide therapeutic cues against RNS-resistant microbes.
PMCID: PMC3228765  PMID: 22145048
5.  α-Ketoglutarate Dehydrogenase and Glutamate Dehydrogenase Work in Tandem To Modulate the Antioxidant α-Ketoglutarate during Oxidative Stress in Pseudomonas fluorescens▿  
Journal of Bacteriology  2009;191(12):3804-3810.
α-Ketoglutarate (KG) is a crucial metabolite in all living organisms, as it participates in a variety of biochemical processes. We have previously shown that this keto acid is an antioxidant and plays a key role in the detoxification of reactive oxygen species (ROS). In an effort to further confirm this intriguing phenomenon, Pseudomonas fluorescens was exposed to menadione-containing media, with various amino acids as the sources of nitrogen. Here, we demonstrate that KG dehydrogenase (KGDH) and NAD-dependent glutamate dehydrogenase (GDH) work in tandem to modulate KG homeostasis. While KGDH was sharply decreased in cells challenged with menadione, GDH was markedly increased in cultures containing arginine (Arg), glutamate (Glu), and proline (Pro). When ammonium (NH4) was utilized as the nitrogen source, both KGDH and GDH levels were diminished. These enzymatic profiles were reversed when control cells were incubated in menadione media. 13C nuclear magnetic resonance and high-performance liquid chromatography studies revealed how KG was utilized to eliminate ROS with the concomitant formation of succinate. The accumulation of KG in the menadione-treated cells was dependent on the redox status of the lipoic acid residue in KGDH. Indeed, the treatment of cellular extracts from the menadione-exposed cells with dithiothreitol, a reducing agent, partially restored the activity of KGDH. Taken together, these data reveal that KG is pivotal to the antioxidative defense strategy of P. fluorescens and also point to the ROS-sensing role for KGDH.
PMCID: PMC2698380  PMID: 19376872
6.  An ATP and Oxalate Generating Variant Tricarboxylic Acid Cycle Counters Aluminum Toxicity in Pseudomonas fluorescens 
PLoS ONE  2009;4(10):e7344.
Although the tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle is essential in almost all aerobic organisms, its precise modulation and integration in global cellular metabolism is not fully understood. Here, we report on an alternative TCA cycle uniquely aimed at generating ATP and oxalate, two metabolites critical for the survival of Pseudomonas fluorescens. The upregulation of isocitrate lyase (ICL) and acylating glyoxylate dehydrogenase (AGODH) led to the enhanced synthesis of oxalate, a dicarboxylic acid involved in the immobilization of aluminum (Al). The increased activity of succinyl-CoA synthetase (SCS) and oxalate CoA-transferase (OCT) in the Al-stressed cells afforded an effective route to ATP synthesis from oxalyl-CoA via substrate level phosphorylation. This modified TCA cycle with diminished efficacy in NADH production and decreased CO2-evolving capacity, orchestrates the synthesis of oxalate, NADPH, and ATP, ingredients pivotal to the survival of P. fluorescens in an Al environment. The channeling of succinyl-CoA towards ATP formation may be an important function of the TCA cycle during anaerobiosis, Fe starvation and O2-limited conditions.
PMCID: PMC2752808  PMID: 19809498
7.  Correction: A Novel Strategy Involved in Anti-Oxidative Defense: The Conversion of NADH into NADPH by a Metabolic Network 
PLoS ONE  2008;3(7):10.1371/annotation/5fac086b-3806-4aa9-a5c5-2611b3355f8f.
PMCID: PMC2651653
8.  A Novel Strategy Involved Anti-Oxidative Defense: The Conversion of NADH into NADPH by a Metabolic Network 
PLoS ONE  2008;3(7):e2682.
The reduced nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADPH) is pivotal to the cellular anti-oxidative defence strategies in most organisms. Although its production mediated by different enzyme systems has been relatively well-studied, metabolic networks dedicated to the biogenesis of NADPH have not been fully characterized. In this report, a metabolic pathway that promotes the conversion of reduced nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NADH), a pro-oxidant into NADPH has been uncovered in Pseudomonas fluorescens exposed to oxidative stress. Enzymes such as pyruvate carboxylase (PC), malic enzyme (ME), malate dehydrogenase (MDH), malate synthase (MS), and isocitrate lyase (ICL) that are involved in disparate metabolic modules, converged to create a metabolic network aimed at the transformation of NADH into NADPH. The downregulation of phosphoenol carboxykinase (PEPCK) and the upregulation of pyruvate kinase (PK) ensured that this metabolic cycle fixed NADH into NADPH to combat the oxidative stress triggered by the menadione insult. This is the first demonstration of a metabolic network invoked to generate NADPH from NADH, a process that may be very effective in combating oxidative stress as the increase of an anti-oxidant is coupled to the decrease of a pro-oxidant.
PMCID: PMC2443280  PMID: 18628998
9.  Mitochondrial Lactate Dehydrogenase Is Involved in Oxidative-Energy Metabolism in Human Astrocytoma Cells (CCF-STTG1) 
PLoS ONE  2008;3(2):e1550.
Lactate has long been regarded as an end product of anaerobic energy production and its fate in cerebral metabolism has not been precisely delineated. In this report, we demonstrate, for the first time, the ability of a human astrocytic cell line (CCF-STTG1) to consume lactate and to generate ATP via oxidative phosphorylation. 13C-NMR and HPLC analyses aided in the identification of tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cyle metabolites and ATP in the astrocytic mitochondria incubated with lactate. Oxamate, an inhibitor of lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), abolished mitochondrial lactate consumption. Electrophoretic and fluorescence microscopic analyses helped localize LDH in the mitochondria. Taken together, this study implicates lactate as an important contributor to ATP metabolism in the brain, a finding that may significantly change our notion of how this important organ manipulates its energy budget.
PMCID: PMC2212712  PMID: 18253497
10.  Oxidative Stress Evokes a Metabolic Adaptation That Favors Increased NADPH Synthesis and Decreased NADH Production in Pseudomonas fluorescens▿  
Journal of Bacteriology  2007;189(18):6665-6675.
The fate of all aerobic organisms is dependent on the varying intracellular concentrations of NADH and NADPH. The former is the primary ingredient that fuels ATP production via oxidative phosphorylation, while the latter helps maintain the reductive environment necessary for this process and other cellular activities. In this study we demonstrate a metabolic network promoting NADPH production and limiting NADH synthesis as a consequence of an oxidative insult. The activity and expression of glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase, malic enzyme, and NADP+-isocitrate dehydrogenase, the main generators of NADPH, were markedly increased during oxidative challenge. On the other hand, numerous tricarboxylic acid cycle enzymes that supply the bulk of intracellular NADH were significantly downregulated. These metabolic pathways were further modulated by NAD+ kinase (NADK) and NADP+ phosphatase (NADPase), enzymes known to regulate the levels of NAD+ and NADP+. While in menadione-challenged cells, the former enzyme was upregulated, the phosphatase activity was markedly increased in control cells. Thus, NADK and NADPase play a pivotal role in controlling the cross talk between metabolic networks that produce NADH and NADPH and are integral components of the mechanism involved in fending off oxidative stress.
PMCID: PMC2045160  PMID: 17573472
11.  The Tricarboxylic Acid Cycle, an Ancient Metabolic Network with a Novel Twist 
PLoS ONE  2007;2(8):e690.
The tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle is an essential metabolic network in all oxidative organisms and provides precursors for anabolic processes and reducing factors (NADH and FADH2) that drive the generation of energy. Here, we show that this metabolic network is also an integral part of the oxidative defence machinery in living organisms and α-ketoglutarate (KG) is a key participant in the detoxification of reactive oxygen species (ROS). Its utilization as an anti-oxidant can effectively diminish ROS and curtail the formation of NADH, a situation that further impedes the release of ROS via oxidative phosphorylation. Thus, the increased production of KG mediated by NADP-dependent isocitrate dehydrogenase (NADP-ICDH) and its decreased utilization via the TCA cycle confer a unique strategy to modulate the cellular redox environment. Activities of α-ketoglutarate dehydrogenase (KGDH), NAD-dependent isocitrate dehydrogenase (NAD-ICDH), and succinate dehydrogenase (SDH) were sharply diminished in the cellular systems exposed to conditions conducive to oxidative stress. These findings uncover an intricate link between TCA cycle and ROS homeostasis and may help explain the ineffective TCA cycle that characterizes various pathological conditions and ageing.
PMCID: PMC1930152  PMID: 17668068

Results 1-11 (11)