Obtaining the necessary molybdenum cofactor for sulfite oxidase activity in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans surprisingly involves a dietary sourceMolybdenum cofactor (Moco) is a prosthetic group necessary for the activity of four unique enzymes, including the essential sulfite oxidase (SUOX-1). Moco is required for life; humans with inactivating mutations in the genes encoding Moco-biosynthetic enzymes display Moco deficiency, a rare and lethal inborn error of metabolism. Despite its importance to human health, little is known about how Moco moves among and between cells, tissues, and organisms. The prevailing view is that cells that require Moco must synthesize Moco de novo.
Acetyl-CoA carboxylase 1 depletion suppresses de novo fatty acid synthesis and mitochondrial β-oxidation in castration-resistant prostate cancer cellsCancer cells, including those of prostate cancer (PCa), often hijack intrinsic cell signaling to reprogram their metabolism. Part of this reprogramming includes the activation of de novo synthesis of fatty acids that not only serve as building blocks for membrane synthesis but also as energy sources for cell proliferation. However, how de novo fatty acid synthesis contributes to PCa progression is still poorly understood. Herein, by mining public datasets, we discovered that the expression of acetyl-CoA carboxylase alpha (ACACA), which encodes acetyl-CoA carboxylase 1 (ACC1), was highly expressed in human PCa.
Activin receptor ALK4 promotes adipose tissue hyperplasia by suppressing differentiation of adipocyte precursorsAdipocyte hyperplasia and hypertrophy are the two main processes contributing to adipose tissue expansion, yet the mechanisms that regulate and balance their involvement in obesity are incompletely understood. Activin B/GDF-3 receptor ALK7 is expressed in mature adipocytes and promotes adipocyte hypertrophy upon nutrient overload by suppressing adrenergic signaling and lipolysis. In contrast, the role of ALK4, the canonical pan-activin receptor, in adipose tissue is unknown. Here, we report that, unlike ALK7, ALK4 is preferentially expressed in adipocyte precursors, where it suppresses differentiation, allowing proliferation and adipose tissue expansion.
Glucagon changes substrate preference in gluconeogenesisFasting hyperglycemia in diabetes mellitus is caused by unregulated glucagon secretion that activates gluconeogenesis (GNG) and increases the use of pyruvate, lactate, amino acids, and glycerol. Studies of GNG in hepatocytes, however, tend to test a limited number of substrates at nonphysiologic concentrations. Therefore, we treated cultured primary hepatocytes with three identical substrate mixtures of pyruvate/lactate, glutamine, and glycerol at serum fasting concentrations, where a different U-13C– or 2-13C–labeled substrate was substituted in each mix.
On the illusion of auxotrophy: met15Δ yeast cells can grow on inorganic sulfur, thanks to the previously uncharacterized homocysteine synthase Yll058wOrganisms must either synthesize or assimilate essential organic compounds to survive. The homocysteine synthase Met15 has been considered essential for inorganic sulfur assimilation in yeast since its discovery in the 1970s. As a result, MET15 has served as a genetic marker for hundreds of experiments that play a foundational role in eukaryote genetics and systems biology. Nevertheless, we demonstrate here through structural and evolutionary modeling, in vitro kinetic assays, and genetic complementation, that an alternative homocysteine synthase encoded by the previously uncharacterized gene YLL058W enables cells lacking Met15 to assimilate enough inorganic sulfur for survival and proliferation.
Mediterranean G6PD variant mitigates expression of DNA methyltransferases and right heart pressure in experimental model of pulmonary hypertensionDNA methylation potentially contributes to the pathogenesis of pulmonary hypertension (PH). However, the role of DNA methyltransferases (DNMTs: 1, 3a, and 3b), the epigenetic writers, in modulating DNA methylation observed in PH remains elusive. Our objective was to determine DNMT activity and expression in the lungs of experimental rat models of PH. Because the activity of DNMTs is metabolically driven, another objective was to determine the role of glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) in regulating DNMT expression and activity in the lungs of novel loss-of-function Mediterranean G6PD variant (G6PDS188F) rats.
Essential roles of the cytokine oncostatin M in crosstalk between muscle fibers and immune cells in skeletal muscle after aerobic exerciseCrosstalk between muscle fibers and immune cells is well known in the processes of muscle repair after exercise, especially resistance exercise. In aerobic exercise, however, this crosstalk is not fully understood. In the present study, we found that macrophages, especially anti-inflammatory (M2) macrophages, and neutrophils accumulated in skeletal muscles of mice 24 h after a single bout of an aerobic exercise. The expression of oncostatin M (OSM), a member of the interleukin 6 family of cytokines, was also increased in muscle fibers immediately after the exercise.
Glucagon-like peptide-1 analog liraglutide leads to multiple metabolic alterations in diet-induced obese miceLiraglutide, a glucagon-like peptide-1 analog, has beneficial metabolic effects in patients with type 2 diabetes and obesity. Although the high efficacy of liraglutide as an anti-diabetic and anti-obesity drug is well known, liraglutide-induced metabolic alterations in diverse tissues remain largely unexplored. Here, we report the changes in metabolic profiles induced by a 2-week subcutaneous injection of liraglutide in diet-induced obese mice fed a high-fat diet for 8 weeks. Our comprehensive metabolomic analyses of the hypothalamus, plasma, liver, and skeletal muscle showed that liraglutide intervention led to various metabolic alterations in comparison with diet-induced obese or nonobese mice.
Disruption of the glucagon receptor increases glucagon expression beyond α-cell hyperplasia in zebrafishThe glucagon receptor (GCGR) is a potential target for diabetes therapy. Several emerging GCGR antagonism-based therapies are under preclinical and clinical development. However, GCGR antagonism, as well as genetically engineered GCGR deficiency in animal models, are accompanied by α-cell hyperplasia and hyperglucagonemia, which may limit the application of GCGR antagonism. To better understand the physiological changes in α cells following GCGR disruption, we performed single cell sequencing of α cells isolated from control and gcgr−/− (glucagon receptor deficient) zebrafish.
Requirement of hepatic pyruvate carboxylase during fasting, high fat, and ketogenic dietPyruvate has two major fates upon entry into mitochondria, the oxidative decarboxylation to acetyl-CoA via the pyruvate decarboxylase complex or the biotin-dependent carboxylation to oxaloacetate via pyruvate carboxylase (Pcx). Here, we have generated mice with a liver-specific KO of pyruvate carboxylase (PcxL−/−) to understand the role of Pcx in hepatic mitochondrial metabolism under disparate physiological states. PcxL−/− mice exhibited a deficit in hepatic gluconeogenesis and enhanced ketogenesis as expected but were able to maintain systemic euglycemia following a 24 h fast.
Identification of a S-(2-succino)cysteine breakdown pathway that uses a novel S-(2-succino) lyaseSuccination is the spontaneous reaction between the respiratory intermediate fumarate and cellular thiols that forms stable S-(2-succino)-adducts such as S-(2-succino)cysteine (2SC). 2SC is a biomarker for conditions associated with elevated fumarate levels, including diabetes, obesity, and certain cancers, and succination likely contributes to disease progression. Bacillus subtilis has a yxe operon-encoded breakdown pathway for 2SC that involves three distinct enzymatic conversions. The first step is N-acetylation of 2SC by YxeL to form N-acetyl-2SC (2SNAC).
A cell-based chemical-genetic screen for amino acid stress response inhibitors reveals torins reverse stress kinase GCN2 signalingmTORC1 and GCN2 are serine/threonine kinases that control how cells adapt to amino acid availability. mTORC1 responds to amino acids to promote translation and cell growth while GCN2 senses limiting amino acids to hinder translation via eIF2α phosphorylation. GCN2 is an appealing target for cancer therapies because malignant cells can harness the GCN2 pathway to temper the rate of translation during rapid amino acid consumption. To isolate new GCN2 inhibitors, we created cell-based, amino acid limitation reporters via genetic manipulation of Ddit3 (encoding the transcription factor CHOP).
Androgen receptor suppresses β-adrenoceptor-mediated CREB activation and thermogenesis in brown adipose tissue of male miceThermoregulation is a process by which core body temperature is maintained in mammals. Males typically have a lower body temperature than females. However, the effects of androgens, which show higher levels in males, on adrenergic receptor-mediated thermogenesis remain unclear. Here, we demonstrate that androgen–androgen receptor (AR) signaling suppresses the β-adrenergic agonist-induced rise of core body temperature using castrated and AR knockout (ARKO) male mice. Furthermore, in vitro mechanistic studies show that activated AR inhibits cAMP response element (CRE)-mediated transcription by suppressing cAMP response element-binding protein (CREB) phosphorylation.
Angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 improves hepatic insulin resistance by regulating GABAergic signaling in the liverThe angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2)/angiotensin 1–7/MAS axis and the gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA)ergic signaling system have both been shown to have the dual potential to improve insulin resistance (IR) and hepatic steatosis associated with obesity in the liver. Recent studies have demonstrated that ACE2 can regulate the GABA signal in various tissues. Notwithstanding this evidence, the functional relationship between ACE2 and GABA signal in the liver under IR remains elusive. Here, we used high-fat diet–induced models of IR in C57BL/6 mice as well as ACE2KO and adeno-associated virus-mediated ACE2 overexpression mouse models to address this knowledge gap.
Purine nucleoside phosphorylase controls nicotinamide riboside metabolism in mammalian cellsNicotinamide riboside (NR) is an effective precursor of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD) in human and animal cells. NR supplementation can increase the level of NAD in various tissues and thereby improve physiological functions that are weakened or lost in experimental models of aging or various human pathologies. However, there are also reports questioning the efficacy of NR supplementation. Indeed, the mechanisms of its utilization by cells are not fully understood. Herein, we investigated the role of purine nucleoside phosphorylase (PNP) in NR metabolism in mammalian cells.
Glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase exerts antistress effects independently of its enzymatic activityG6PD (glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase) is the rate-limiting enzyme in the oxidative pentose phosphate pathway that can generate cytosolic NADPH for biosynthesis and oxidative defense. Since cytosolic NADPH can be compensatively produced by other sources, the enzymatic activity deficiency alleles of G6PD are well tolerated in somatic cells but the effect of null mutations is unclear. Herein, we show that G6PD KO sensitizes cells to the stresses induced by hydrogen peroxide, superoxide, hypoxia, and the inhibition of the electron transport chain.
The role of FXR and TGR5 in reversing and preventing progression of Western diet–induced hepatic steatosis, inflammation, and fibrosis in miceNonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) is the most common chronic liver disease in the US, partly due to the increasing incidence of metabolic syndrome, obesity, and type 2 diabetes. The roles of bile acids and their receptors, such as the nuclear receptor farnesoid X receptor (FXR) and the G protein-coupled receptor TGR5, on the development of NASH are not fully clear. C57BL/6J male mice fed a Western diet (WD) develop characteristics of NASH, allowing determination of the effects of FXR and TGR5 agonists on this disease.
Low-dose lithium supplementation promotes adipose tissue browning and sarco(endo)plasmic reticulum Ca2+ ATPase uncoupling in muscleSarco(endo)plasmic reticulum Ca2+-ATPase (SERCA) uncoupling in skeletal muscle and mitochondrial uncoupling via uncoupling protein 1 (UCP1) in brown/beige adipose tissue are two mechanisms implicated in energy expenditure. Here, we investigated the effects of glycogen synthase kinase 3 (GSK3) inhibition via lithium chloride (LiCl) treatment on SERCA uncoupling in skeletal muscle and UCP1 expression in adipose. C2C12 and 3T3-L1 cells treated with LiCl had increased SERCA uncoupling and UCP1 protein levels, respectively, ultimately raising cellular respiration; however, this was only observed when LiCl treatment occurred throughout differentiation.
Aurora A–mediated pyruvate kinase M2 phosphorylation promotes biosynthesis with glycolytic metabolites and tumor cell cycle progressionCancer cells have distinctive demands for intermediates from glucose metabolism for biosynthesis and energy in different cell cycle phases. However, how cell cycle regulators and glycolytic enzymes coordinate to orchestrate the essential metabolic processes are still poorly characterized. Here, we report a novel interaction between the mitotic kinase, Aurora A, and the glycolytic enzyme, pyruvate kinase M2 (PKM2), in the interphase of the cell cycle. We found Aurora A–mediated phosphorylation of PKM2 at threonine 45.
Lactic acid bacteria–derived γ-linolenic acid metabolites are PPARδ ligands that reduce lipid accumulation in human intestinal organoidsGut microbiota regulate physiological functions in various hosts, such as energy metabolism and immunity. Lactic acid bacteria, including Lactobacillus plantarum, have a specific polyunsaturated fatty acid saturation metabolism that generates multiple fatty acid species, such as hydroxy fatty acids, oxo fatty acids, conjugated fatty acids, and trans-fatty acids. How these bacterial metabolites impact host physiology is not fully understood. Here, we investigated the ligand activity of lactic acid bacteria–produced fatty acids in relation to nuclear hormone receptors expressed in the small intestine.
Estradiol production of granulosa cells is unaffected by the physiological mix of nonesterified fatty acids in follicular fluidOvarian cycle is controlled by circulating levels of the steroid hormone 17-β-estradiol, which is predominantly synthesized by the granulosa cells (GCs) of ovarian follicles. Our earlier studies showed that unsaturated fatty acids (USFs) downregulate and saturated fatty acids (SFAs) upregulate estradiol production in GCs. However, it was unclear whether pituitary gonadotropins induce accumulation of free fatty acids (FFAs) in the follicular fluid since follicle-stimulating hormone induces and luteinizing hormone inhibits estradiol production in the mammalian ovary.