Tumor cells have an altered metabolic phenotype characterized by increased glycolysis and diminished oxidative phosphorylation. Despite the suspected importance of glycolysis in tumorigenesis, the temporal relationship between oncogene signaling, in vivo tumor formation and glycolytic pathway activity is poorly understood. Moreover, how glycolytic pathways are altered as tumors regress remains unknown. Here we use a switchable model of MYC-driven liver cancer, along with hyperpolarized 13C-pyruvate magnetic resonance spectroscopic imaging (MRSI) to visualize glycolysis in de novo tumor formation and regression. LDHA abundance and activity in tumors is tightly correlated to in vivo pyruvate conversion to lactate and is rapidly inhibited as tumors begin to regress, as are numerous glycolysis pathway genes. Conversion of pyruvate to alanine predominates in pre-cancerous tissues prior to observable morphologic or histological changes. These results demonstrate that metabolic changes precede tumor formation and regression and are directly linked to the activity of a single oncogene.
Evolution favored individuals with superior cognitive and physical abilities under conditions of limited food sources, and brain function can therefore be optimized by intermittent dietary energy restriction (ER) and exercise. Such energetic challenges engage adaptive cellular stress response signaling pathways in neurons involving neurotrophic factors, protein chaperones, DNA repair proteins, autophagy and mitochondrial biogenesis. By suppressing adaptive cellular stress responses, overeating and a sedentary lifestyle may increase the risk of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases, stroke, and depression. Intense concerted efforts of governments, families, schools and physicians will be required to successfully implement brain-healthy lifestyles that incorporate ER and exercise.
Mice lacking the Jak tyrosine kinase member Tyk2 become progressively obese due to aberrant development of Myf5+ brown adipose tissue (BAT). Tyk2 RNA levels in BAT and skeletal muscle, which shares a common progenitor with BAT, are dramatically decreased in mice placed on a high fat diet and in obese humans. Expression of Tyk2 or the constitutively active form of the transcription factor Stat3 (CAStat3) restores differentiation in Tyk2−/− brown preadipocytes. Furthermore, Tyk2−/− mice expressing CAStat3 transgene in BAT also show improved BAT development, normal levels of insulin and significantly lower body weights. Stat3 binds to PRDM16, a master regulator of BAT differentiation, and enhances the stability of PRDM16 protein. These results define Tyk2 and Stat3 as critical determinants of brown fat-lineage and suggest that altered levels of Tyk2 are associated with obesity in both rodents and humans.
Heme plays fundamental roles as cofactor and signaling molecule in multiple pathways devoted to oxygen sensing and utilization in aerobic organisms. For cellular respiration, heme serves as a prosthetic group in electron transfer proteins and redox enzymes. Here we report that in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae a heme-sensing mechanism translationally controls the biogenesis of cytochrome c oxidase (COX), the terminal mitochondrial respiratory chain enzyme. We show that Mss51, a COX1 mRNA-specific translational activator and Cox1 chaperone, which coordinates Cox1 synthesis in mitoribosomes with its assembly in COX, is a heme-binding protein. Mss51 contains two heme regulatory motifs or Cys-Pro-X domains located in its N-terminus. Using a combination of in vitro and in vivo approaches, we have demonstrated that these motifs are important for heme binding and efficient performance of Mss51 functions. We conclude that heme sensing by Mss51 regulates COX biogenesis and aerobic energy production.
Mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation; Cytochrome c oxidase; Heme-mediated regulation; Heme sensing; Mitochondrial translation; Translational regulation; Mss51
Obesity and type 2 diabetes are associated with mitochondrial dysfunction in adipose tissue, but the role for adipose tissues mitochondria in the development of these disorders is currently unknown. To understand the impact of adipose tissue mitochondria on whole body metabolism, we have generated a mouse model with disruption of the mitochondrial transcription factor A (TFAM) specifically in fat. F-TFKO adipose tissue exhibit decreased mtDNA copy number, altered levels of proteins of the electron transport chain, and perturbed mitochondrial function with decreased Complex I activity and greater oxygen consumption and uncoupling. As a result, F-TFKO mice exhibit higher energy expenditure and are protected from age- and diet-induced obesity, insulin resistance and hepatosteatosis, despite a greater food intake. Thus, TFAM deletion in the adipose tissue increases mitochondrial oxidation that has positive metabolic effects suggesting that regulation of adipose tissue mitochondria may be a potential therapeutic target for the treatment of obesity.
Obesity; Brown adipose tissue; Mitochondrial function; mitochondrial bioenergetics; White adipose tissue; Insulin resistance; Diabetes
In the mouse liver, circadian transcriptional rhythms are necessary for metabolic homeostasis. Whether dynamic epigenomic modifications are associated with transcript oscillations has not been systematically investigated. We found in addition to mRNAs, several antisense-, linc- and micro-RNA transcripts showed circadian oscillations in adult mouse livers. Robust transcript oscillations were often accompanied by temporally correlated rhythmic histone modifications in promoters, gene bodies or enhancers, although promoter DNA methylation levels were relatively stable. Such integrative analyses identified oscillating expression of a previously undetected antisense transcript (asPer2) to the gene encoding the circadian oscillator component Per2. Robustness of transcript oscillations often accompanied rhythms in multiple histone modifications and recruitment of multiple chromatin-associated clock components. In summary, coupling of the locations of cycling histone modifications with one or more oscillating transcripts within their proximity enabled establishment of a temporal relationship between enhancers, genes and transcripts on a genome-wide, base-resolution scale in a mammalian liver. The results offer a framework to understand intricate dynamic regulation among metabolism, circadian clock, and chromatin modifications to maintain metabolic homeostasis.
Caloric restriction (CR) mitigates many detrimental effects of aging and prolongs lifespan. CR has been suggested to increase mitochondrial biogenesis, thereby attenuating age-related declines in mitochondrial function; a concept that is challenged by recent studies. Here we show that lifelong CR in mice prevents age-related loss of mitochondrial oxidative capacity and efficiency, measured in isolated mitochondria and permeabilized muscle fibers. We find that these beneficial effects of CR occur without increasing mitochondrial abundance. Whole-genome expression profiling and large-scale proteomic surveys revealed expression patterns inconsistent with increased mitochondrial biogenesis, which is further supported by lower mitochondrial protein synthesis with CR. We find that CR decreases oxidant emission, increases antioxidant scavenging, and minimizes oxidative damage to DNA and protein. These results demonstrate that CR preserves mitochondrial function by protecting the integrity and function of existing cellular components rather than by increasing mitochondrial biogenesis.
Caloric Restriction; Calorie restriction; dietary restriction; aging; mitochondria; protein synthesis; skeletal muscle; mitochondrial biogenesis
Mitochondrial energy production is a tightly regulated process involving the coordinated transcription of several genes, catalysis of a plethora of posttranslational modifications, and the formation of very large molecular supercomplexes. The regulation of mitochondrial activity is particularly important for the brain, which is a high-energy-consuming organ that depends on oxidative phosphorylation to generate ATP. Here we show that brain mitochondrial ATP production is controlled by the cytoplasmic polyadenylation-induced translation of an mRNA encoding NDUFV2, a key mitochondrial protein. Knockout mice lacking the Cytoplasmic Polyadenylation Element Binding protein 1 (CPEB1) have brain-specific dysfunctional mitochondria and reduced ATP levels, which is due to defective polyadenylation-induced translation of electron transport chain complex I protein NDUFV2 mRNA. This reduced ATP results in defective dendrite morphogenesis of hippocampal neurons both in vitro and in vivo. These and other results demonstrate that CPEB1 control of mitochondrial activity is essential for normal brain development.
Metabolic sensing neurons are conserved across multiple animal species
and allow the organism to monitor nutrient availability to maintain energy
homeostasis. Miyamoto et al. (2012)
describe fly neurons that are highly tuned to fructose availability and are
critical determinants of ingestive behavior on a diet of simple sugars.
Glucagon, secreted by pancreatic islet α cells, is the principal hyperglycemic hormone. In diabetes, glucagon secretion is not suppressed at high glucose, exacerbating the consequences of insufficient insulin secretion, and is inadequate at low glucose, potentially leading to fatal hypoglycemia. The causal mechanisms remain unknown. Here we show that α cell KATP-channel activity is very low under hypoglycemic conditions and that hyperglycemia, via elevated intracellular ATP/ADP, leads to complete inhibition. This produces membrane depolarization and voltage-dependent inactivation of the Na+ channels involved in action potential firing that, via reduced action potential height and Ca2+ entry, suppresses glucagon secretion. Maneuvers that increase KATP channel activity, such as metabolic inhibition, mimic the glucagon secretory defects associated with diabetes. Low concentrations of the KATP channel blocker tolbutamide partially restore glucose-regulated glucagon secretion in islets from type 2 diabetic organ donors. These data suggest that impaired metabolic control of the KATP channels underlies the defective glucose regulation of glucagon secretion in type 2 diabetes.
•KATP channel closure stimulates insulin secretion but inhibits glucagon release•α cell depolarization reduces voltage-gated Ca2+ entry and glucagon release•An activating KATP channel mutation impairs glucagon release in mice•KATP channel closure corrects glucagon secretion defect in type 2 diabetic islets
Type 2 diabetes Mellitus (T2DM) and aging are characterized by insulin resistance, lower mitochondrial density and function and increased production of reactive oxygen species (ROS). In lower organisms continuous remodeling critically maintains the function and life cycle of mitochondria, in part by the protease pcp1 (PARL ortholog). We therefore examined whether variation in PARL protein content is associated with mitochondrial abnormalities and insulin resistance. Relative to healthy, young individuals (23±1y), PARL mRNA and mitochondrial mass were both reduced in elderly subjects (64.4±1.2 y; 51% and 44% respectively) and in subjects with T2DM (51.8±3 y; 31% and 41% respectively; all p<0.05). Muscle knock-down of PARL in mice resulted in lower mitochondrial content (−31±3%, p<0.05), lower OPA1 and PGC1α protein levels and impaired insulin signaling. Furthermore, mitochondrial cristae were malformed and resulted in elevated in vivo oxidative stress. Adenoviral suppression of PARL protein in healthy myotubes lowered mitochondrial mass (−33±8%), insulin stimulated glycogen synthesis (−33±9%) and increased ROS production (2-fold) (all p<0.05). We propose that lower PARL expression may contribute to the mitochondrial abnormalities seen in aging and T2DM.
Obesity-related leptin resistance manifests in loss of leptin’s ability to reduce appetite and increase energy expenditure. Obesity is also associated with increased activity of the endocannabinoid system, and CB1 receptor (CB1R) inverse agonists reduce body weight and the associated metabolic complications, although adverse neuropsychiatric effects halted their therapeutic development. Here we show that in mice with diet-induced obesity (DIO), the peripherally restricted CB1R inverse agonist JD5037 is equieffective with its brain-penetrant parent compound in reducing appetite, body weight, hepatic steatosis, and insulin resistance, even though it does not occupy central CB1R or induce related behaviors. Appetite and weight reduction by JD5037 are mediated by resensitizing DIO mice to endogenous leptin through reversing the hyperleptinemia by decreasing leptin expression and secretion by adipocytes and increasing leptin clearance via the kidney. Thus, inverse agonism at peripheral CB1R not only improves cardiometabolic risk in obesity but has antiobesity effects by reversing leptin resistance.
Seven mammalian sirtuins are nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD)+-dependent deacetylases and are important modulators of energy metabolism and stress resistance. Two new studies by Du et al. (2011) and Peng et al. (2011) identify a new enzymatic activity for SIRT5, expanding the cellular repertoire of posttranslational modifications targeted by the sirtuins.
Resveratrol has been reported to improve metabolic function in metabolically-abnormal rodents and humans, but has not been studied in non-obese people with normal glucose tolerance. We conducted a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial to evaluate the metabolic effects of 12 weeks of resveratrol supplementation (75 mg/day) in non-obese, postmenopausal women with normal glucose tolerance. Although resveratrol supplementation increased plasma resveratrol concentration, it did not change body composition, resting metabolic rate, plasma lipids, or inflammatory markers. A two-stage hyperinsulinemic-euglycemic clamp procedure, in conjunction with stable isotopically-labeled tracer infusions, demonstrated that resveratrol did not increase liver, skeletal muscle, or adipose tissue insulin sensitivity. Consistent with the absence of in vivo metabolic effects, resveratrol did not affect its putative molecular targets, including AMPK, Sirt1, Nampt, and Pgc-1α, in either skeletal muscle or adipose tissue. These findings demonstrate that resveratrol supplementation does not have beneficial metabolic effects in non-obese, postmenopausal women with normal glucose tolerance.
2,3,7,8-Tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD) is among the most potent environmentally toxic compounds. Serum metabolomics identified azelaic acid-mono esters as significantly increased metabolites after TCDD treatment, due to down-regulation of hepatic carboxylesterase 3 (CES3, also known as triglyceride hydrolase) expression in an arylhydrocarbon receptor (AhR)-dependent manner in mice. The decreased CES3 expression was accomplished by TCDD-stimulated TGFβ-SMAD3 and IL6-STAT3 signaling, but not by direct AhR signaling. Methionine- and choline-deficient (MCD) diet-treated mice also showed enhanced serum azelaic acid-mono ester levels following attenuation of hepatic CES3 expression, while db/db mice did not, thus suggesting an association with steatohepatitis. Forced expression of CES3 reversed serum azelaic acid-mono ester/azelaic acid ratios and hepatic TGFβ mRNA levels in TCDD- and MCD diet-treated mice and ameliorated steatohepatitis induced by MCD diet. These results support the view that azelaic acid-mono esters are possible indicators of TCDD exposure and steatohepatitis, and suggest a link between CES3, TGFβ, and steatohepatitis.
Mitochondria are dynamic organelles that play a central role in a diverse array of metabolic processes. Elucidating mitochondrial adaptations to changing metabolic demands and the pathogenic alterations that underlie metabolic disorders represent principal challenges in cell biology. Here, we performed multiplexed quantitative mass spectrometry-based proteomics to chart the remodeling of the mouse liver mitochondrial proteome and phosphoproteome during both acute and chronic physiological transformations in more than 50 mice. Our analyses reveal that reversible phosphorylation is widespread in mitochondria, and is a key mechanism for regulating ketogenesis during the onset of obesity and type 2 diabetes. Specifically, we have demonstrated that phosphorylation of a conserved serine on Hmgcs2 (S456) significantly enhances its catalytic activity in response to increased ketogenic demand. Collectively, our work describes the plasticity of this organelle at high resolution and provides a framework for investigating the roles of proteome restructuring and reversible phosphorylation in mitochondrial adaptation.
Direct detection of circulating nutrients by the central nervous system has been implicated in the regulation of energy balance, and the mediobasal hypothalamus is considered the primary sensing site mediating these effects. Neurons sensitive to energy-related signals have also been identified outside the hypothalamus, particularly within the caudomedial nucleus of the solitary tract (cmNTS) in brainstem, but the consequences of direct NTS nutrient detection on energy balance remain poorly characterized. Here we determined the behavioral and metabolic consequences of direct L-leucine detection by the cmNTS and investigated the intracellular signaling and neurochemical pathways implicated in cmNTS L-leucine sensing in rats. Our results support the distributed nature of central nutrient detection, evidence a role for the cmNTS S6K1 pathway in the regulation of meal size and body weight, and suggest that the cmNTS integrates direct cmNTS nutrient detection with gut-derived, descending forebrain, and adiposity signals of energy availability to regulate food intake.
Cancer cells possess fundamentally altered metabolism that provides a foundation to support tumorigenicity and malignancy. Our understanding of the biochemical underpinnings of cancer has benefited from the integrated utilization of large-scale profiling platforms (e.g. genomics, proteomics, and metabolomics), which, together, can provide a global assessment of how enzymes and their parent metabolic networks become altered in cancer to fuel tumor growth. This review presents several examples of how these integrated platforms have yielded fundamental insights into dysregulated metabolism in cancer. We will also discuss questions and challenges that must be addressed to more completely describe, and eventually control, the diverse metabolic pathways that support tumorigenesis.
Iron is an essential cofactor with unique redox properties. Iron regulatory proteins 1 and 2 (IRP1/2) have been established as important regulators of cellular iron homeostasis, but little is known about the role of other pathways in this process. Here we report that the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) regulates iron homeostasis by modulating transferrin receptor 1 (TfR1) stability and altering cellular iron flux. Mechanistic studies identify tristetraprolin (TTP), a protein involved in anti-inflammatory response, as the downstream target of mTOR that binds to and enhances degradation of TfR1 mRNA. We also show that TTP is strongly induced by iron chelation, promotes downregulation of iron-requiring genes in both mammalian and yeast cells, and modulates survival in low-iron states. Taken together, our data uncover a link between metabolic, inflammatory, and iron regulatory pathways, and point towards the existence of a yeast-like TTP-mediated iron conservation program in mammals.
The function of p53 is best understood in response to genotoxic stress, but increasing evidence suggests that p53 also plays a key role in the regulation of metabolic homeostasis. p53 and its family members directly influence various metabolic pathways, enabling cells to respond to metabolic stress. These functions are likely to be important for restraining the development of cancer but could also have a profound effect on the development of metabolic diseases, including diabetes. A better understanding of the metabolic functions of p53 family members may aid in the identification of therapeutic targets and reveal novel uses for p53-modulating drugs.
Impaired lung function caused by decreased airway diameter (bronchoconstriction) is frequently observed whether body weight is abnormally high or low. That these opposite conditions affect the airways similarly suggests that the regulation of airway diameter and body weight are intertwined. We show here that, independently of its regulation of appetite, melanocortin pathway, or sympathetic tone, leptin is necessary and sufficient to increase airway diameter by signaling through its cognate receptor in cholinergic neurons. The latter decreases parasympathetic signaling through the M3 muscarinic receptor in airway smooth muscle cells, thereby increasing airway diameter without affecting local inflammation. Accordingly, decreasing parasympathetic tone genetically or pharmacologically corrects bronchoconstriction and normalizes lung function in obese mice regardless of bronchial inflammation. This study reveals an adipocyte-dependent regulation of bronchial diameter whose disruption contributes to the impaired lung function caused by abnormal body weight. These findings may be of use in the management of obesity-associated asthma.
Human loss-of-function gene variants in GPR120 have recently been
identified that confer increased risk for obesity and metabolic syndrome. In
addition, GPR120 KO mice develop obesity, increased inflammation, and insulin
resistance, consistent with a role for GPR120 signaling in the metabolic
syndrome and diabetes mellitus.
Sphingolipids, ubiquitous membrane lipids in eukaryotes, carry out a myriad of critical cellular functions. The past two decades have seen significant advances in sphingolipid research and in 2010, a first sphingolipid receptor modulator was employed as a human therapeutic. Further, cellular signaling mechanisms regulated by sphingolipids are being recognized as critical players in metabolic diseases. This review focuses on recent advances in cellular and physiological mechanisms of sphingolipid regulation and how sphingolipid signaling influences metabolic diseases. Progress in this area may contribute to new understanding and therapeutic options in complex diseases such as atherosclerosis, diabetes, metabolic syndromes and cancer.
Sterol regulatory element-binding protein (SREBP) transcription factors regulate cellular lipogenesis and lipid homeostasis. Recent studies reveal expanding roles for SREBPs with the description of new regulatory mechanisms, identification of unexpected transcriptional targets, and the discovery of functions for SREBPs in type II diabetes, cancer, immunity, neuroprotection and autophagy.