The kidney is one of the major loci for the expression of cystathionine ?-synthase (CBS) and cystathionine ?-lyase (CTH). While CBS-deficient (Cbs(-/-)) mice display homocysteinemia/methioninemia and severe growth retardation, and rarely survive beyond the first 4 wk, CTH-deficient (Cth(-/-)) mice show homocysteinemia/cystathioninemia but develop with no apparent abnormality. This study examined renal amino acid reabsorption in those mice. Although both 2-wk-old Cbs(-/-) and Cth(-/-) mice had normal renal architecture, their serum/urinary amino acid profiles largely differed from wild-type mice. The most striking feature was marked accumulation of Met and cystathionine in serum/urine/kidney samples of Cbs(-/-) and Cth(-/-) mice, respectively. Levels of some neutral amino acids (Val, Leu, Ile, and Tyr) that were not elevated in Cbs(-/-) serum were highly elevated in Cbs(-/-) urine, and urinary excretion of other neutral amino acids (except Met) was much higher than expected from their serum levels, demonstrating neutral aminoaciduria in Cbs(-/-) (not Cth(-/-)) mice. Because the bulk of neutral amino acids is absorbed via a B(0)AT1 transporter and Met has the highest substrate affinity for B(0)AT1 than other neutral amino acids, hypermethioninemia may cause hyperexcretion of neutral amino acids.
Haem oxygenase (HO)-1/carbon monoxide (CO) protects cancer cells from oxidative stress, but the gas-responsive signalling mechanisms remain unknown. Here we show using metabolomics that CO-sensitive methylation of PFKFB3, an enzyme producing fructose 2,6-bisphosphate (F-2,6-BP), serves as a switch to activate phosphofructokinase-1, a rate-limiting glycolytic enzyme. In human leukaemia U937 cells, PFKFB3 is asymmetrically di-methylated at R131 and R134 through modification by protein arginine methyltransferase 1. HO-1 induction or CO results in reduced methylation of PFKFB3 in varied cancer cells to suppress F-2,6-BP, shifting glucose utilization from glycolysis toward the pentose phosphate pathway. Loss of PFKFB3 methylation depends on the inhibitory effects of CO on haem-containing cystathionine ?-synthase (CBS). CBS modulates remethylation metabolism, and increases NADPH to supply reduced glutathione, protecting cells from oxidative stress and anti-cancer reagents. Once the methylation of PFKFB3 is reduced, the protein undergoes polyubiquitination and is degraded in the proteasome. These results suggest that the CO/CBS-dependent regulation of PFKFB3 methylation determines directional glucose utilization to ensure resistance against oxidative stress for cancer cell survival.
Fatty acids (FAs) are the major substrate for energy production in the heart. Here, we hypothesize that capillary endothelial fatty acid binding protein 4 (FABP4) and FABP5 play an important role in providing sufficient FAs to the myocardium.
Activation of aerobic glycolysis in cancer cells is well known as the Warburg effect, although its relation to cell- cycle progression remains unknown. In this study, human colon cancer cells were labeled with a cell-cycle phase-dependent fluorescent marker Fucci to distinguish cells in G1-phase and those in S + G2/M phases. Fucci-labeled cells served as splenic xenograft transplants in super-immunodeficient NOG mice and exhibited multiple metastases in the livers, frozen sections of which were analyzed by semiquantitative microscopic imaging mass spectrometry. Results showed that cells in G1-phase exhibited higher concentrations of ATP, NADH, and UDP-N-acetylglucosamine than those in S and G2-M phases, suggesting accelerated glycolysis in G1-phase cells in vivo. Quantitative determination of metabolites in cells synchronized in S, G2-M, and G1 phases suggested that efflux of lactate was elevated significantly in G1-phase. By contrast, ATP production in G2-M was highly dependent on mitochondrial respiration, whereas cells in S-phase mostly exhibited an intermediary energy metabolism between G1 and G2-M phases. Isogenic cells carrying a p53-null mutation appeared more active in glycolysis throughout the cell cycle than wild-type cells. Thus, as the cell cycle progressed from G2-M to G1 phases, the dependency of energy production on glycolysis was increased while the mitochondrial energy production was reciprocally decreased.
Carbonyl sulfide (COS) is an atmospheric trace gas leading to sulfate aerosol formation, thereby participating in the global radiation balance and ozone chemistry, but its biological sinks are not well understood. Thiobacillus thioparus strain THI115 can grow on thiocyanate (SCN(-)) as its sole energy source. Previously, we showed that SCN(-) is first converted to COS by thiocyanate hydrolase in T. thioparus strain THI115. In the present work, we purified, characterized, and determined the crystal structure of carbonyl sulfide hydrolase (COSase), which is responsible for the degradation of COS to H2S and CO2, the second step of SCN(-) assimilation. COSase is a homotetramer composed of a 23.4 kDa subunit containing a zinc ion in its catalytic site. The amino acid sequence of COSase is homologous to the ?-class carbonic anhydrases (?-CAs). Although the crystal structure including the catalytic site resembles those of the ?-CAs, CO2 hydration activity of COSase is negligible compared to those of the ?-CAs. The ?5 helix and the extra loop (Gly150-Pro158) near the N-terminus of the ?6 helix narrow the substrate pathway, which could be responsible for the substrate specificity. The k(cat)/K(m) value, 9.6 × 10(5) s(-1) M(-1), is comparable to those of the ?-CAs. COSase hydrolyzes COS over a wide concentration range, including the ambient level, in vitro and in vivo. COSase and its structurally related enzymes are distributed in the clade D in the phylogenetic tree of ?-CAs, suggesting that COSase and its related enzymes are one of the catalysts responsible for the global sink of COS.
During prolonged fasting, fatty acid (FA) released from adipose tissue is a major energy source for peripheral tissues, including the heart, skeletal muscle and liver. We recently showed that FA binding protein 4 (FABP4) and FABP5, which are abundantly expressed in adipocytes and macrophages, are prominently expressed in capillary endothelial cells in the heart and skeletal muscle. In addition, mice deficient for both FABP4 and FABP5 (FABP4/5 DKO mice) exhibited defective uptake of FA with compensatory up-regulation of glucose consumption in these tissues during fasting. Here we showed that deletion of FABP4/5 resulted in a marked perturbation of metabolism in response to prolonged fasting, including hyperketotic hypoglycemia and hepatic steatosis. Blood glucose levels were reduced, whereas the levels of non-esterified FA (NEFA) and ketone bodies were markedly increased during fasting. In addition, the uptake of the (125)I-BMIPP FA analogue in the DKO livers was markedly increased after fasting. Consistent with an increased influx of NEFA into the liver, DKO mice showed marked hepatic steatosis after a 48-hr fast. Although gluconeogenesis was observed shortly after fasting, the substrates for gluconeogenesis were reduced during prolonged fasting, resulting in insufficient gluconeogenesis and enhanced hypoglycemia. These metabolic responses to prolonged fasting in DKO mice were readily reversed by re-feeding. Taken together, these data strongly suggested that a maladaptive response to fasting in DKO mice occurred as a result of an increased influx of NEFA into the liver and pronounced hypoglycemia. Together with our previous study, the metabolic consequence found in the present study is likely to be attributed to an impairment of FA uptake in the heart and skeletal muscle. Thus, our data provided evidence that peripheral uptake of FA via capillary endothelial FABP4/5 is crucial for systemic metabolism and may establish FABP4/5 as potentially novel targets for the modulation of energy homeostasis.
Fatty liver is one of the typical manifestations in homocysteinemia/homocystinuria patients and their genetic animal model, mice lacking cystathionine ?-synthase (Cbs(-/-)). The vast majority of Cbs(-/-) die within 4 weeks after birth via yet unknown mechanisms, whereas a small portion survive to adulthood, escaping fatty degeneration of the liver during lactation periods, through regeneration. To investigate the molecular basis of such fatty changes, we analyzed lipid components in fatty livers of 2-week-old Cbs(-/-) and regenerated non-fatty livers of 8-week-old Cbs(-/-) survivors using a chip-based nanoESI (electrospray ionization)-MS system, which allows quantitative detection of triacylglycerol/phospholipid molecular species. Hepatic levels of all major triacylglycerol species were much higher in Cbs(-/-) than in wild-type mice at 2 weeks, although not at 8 weeks. Levels of some phospholipid species were either up- or downregulated in 2-week-old Cbs(-/-); e.g. saturated (16:0 and 18:0) or mono-unsaturated (16:1 and 18:1) fatty acids-containing phosphatidylcholine/phosphatidylethanolamine species were upregulated, while poly-unsaturated fatty acids-containing phosphatidylcholine (18:2-18:2 and 18:2-20:5), phosphatidylethanolamine (18:1-20:4), and phosphatidylinositol (18:0-20:4) were downregulated. Capillary electrophoresis-MS analysis identified high-level accumulation of S-adenosylmethionine and S-adenosylhomocysteine in fatty livers of 2-week-old Cbs(-/-) but much less in non-fatty livers of 8-week-old Cbs(-/-). Although hepatic S-adenosylmethionine/S-adenosylhomocysteine ratios were comparable between 2-week-old Cbs(-/-) and wild-type, global protein arginine methylation was disturbed in fatty livers of Cbs(-/-). Our results suggest that cellular signaling mediated by altered phospholipid contents might be involved in pathogenesis of fatty liver in Cbs(-/-).
Local responses of energy metabolism during brain ischemia are too heterogeneous to decipher redox distribution between anoxic core and adjacent salvageable regions such as penumbra. Imaging mass spectrometry combined by capillary electrophoresis/mass spectrometry providing quantitative metabolomics revealed spatio-temporal changes in adenylates and NADH in a mouse middle-cerebral artery occlusion model. Unlike the core where ATP decreased, the penumbra displayed paradoxical elevation of ATP despite the constrained blood supply. It is noteworthy that the NADH elevation in the ischemic region is clearly demarcated by the ATP-depleting core. Results suggest that metabolism in ischemic penumbra does not respond passively to compromised circulation, but actively compensates energy charges.
We aimed to examine metabolism of human cancer in vivo and utilized superimmunodeficient NOG mice as an experimental model of hepatic metastasis, where human colon cancer cell line HCT116 transfected with Venus, the mutant GFP was injected intrasplenically. The mice were pretreated with Pd-porphyrin to quantify local O(2) tension through intravital phosphorescence assay. In this model, a majority of metastatic foci occurred in periportal regions but not in central regions. At 1 week after the transplantation, a PO(2) drop in periportal regions was minimal without any notable decrease in microvascular blood flow. Under these conditions, there was a negative correlation between the size of metastatic foci and the lobular O(2) consumption, suggesting that the tumor O(2) consumption is smaller than that in the residual liver. At 2 weeks, portal PO(2) was significantly smaller than controls, while the central PO(2) was not comparably decreased, indicating that metastatic foci increased the O(2) consumption, while the residual liver decreased it. These results suggest metastatic tumors derived from human colon cancer exhibit notable aerobic metabolism during their developmental process, compromising respiration of the rest of the tissue regenerated during tumor development.
Heart disease remains a major cause of death despite advances in medical technology. Heart-regenerative therapy that uses pluripotent stem cells (PSCs) is a potentially promising strategy for patients with heart disease, but the inability to generate highly purified cardiomyocytes in sufficient quantities has been a barrier to realizing this potential. Here, we report a nongenetic method for mass-producing cardiomyocytes from mouse and human PSC derivatives that is based on the marked biochemical differences in glucose and lactate metabolism between cardiomyocytes and noncardiomyocytes, including undifferentiated cells. We cultured PSC derivatives with glucose-depleted culture medium containing abundant lactate and found that only cardiomyocytes survived. Using this approach, we obtained cardiomyocytes of up to 99% purity that did not form tumors after transplantation. We believe that our technological method broadens the range of potential applications for purified PSC-derived cardiomyocytes and could facilitate progress toward PSC-based cardiac regenerative therapy.
Physiological roles of the transsulfuration pathway have been recognized by its contribution to the synthesis of cytoprotective cysteine metabolites, such as glutathione, taurine/hypotaurine, and hydrogen sulfide (H(2)S), whereas its roles in protecting against methionine toxicity remained to be clarified. This study aimed at revealing these roles by analyzing high-methionine diet-fed transsulfuration-defective cystathionine ?-lyase-deficient (Cth(-/-)) mice. Wild-type and Cth(-/-) mice were fed a standard diet (1 × Met: 0.44%) or a high-methionine diet (3 × Met or 6 × Met), and hepatic conditions were monitored by serum biochemistry and histology. Metabolome analysis was performed for methionine derivatives using capillary electrophoresis- or liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry and sulfur-detecting gas chromatography. The 6 × Met-fed Cth(-/-) (not 1 × Met-fed Cth(-/-) or 6 × Met-fed wild type) mice displayed acute hepatitis, which was characterized by markedly elevated levels of serum alanine/aspartate aminotransferases and serum/hepatic lipid peroxidation, inflammatory cell infiltration, and hepatocyte ballooning; thereafter, they died of gastrointestinal bleeding due to coagulation factor deficiency. After 1 week on 6 × Met, blood levels of ammonia/homocysteine and hepatic levels of methanethiol/3-methylthiopropionate (a methionine transamination product/methanethiol precursor) became significantly higher in Cth(-/-) mice than in wild-type mice. Although hepatic levels of methionine sulfoxide became higher in 6 × Met-fed wild-type mice and Cth(-/-) mice, those of glutathione, taurine/hypotaurine, and H(2)S became lower and serum levels of homocysteine became much higher in 6 × Met-fed Cth(-/-) mice than in wild-type mice. Thus, transsulfuration plays a critical role in the detoxification of excessive methionine by circumventing aberrant accumulation of its toxic transamination metabolites, including ammonia, methanethiol, and 3-methylthiopropionate, in addition to synthesizing cysteine-derived antioxidants to counteract accumulated pro-oxidants such as methionine sulfoxide and homocysteine.
Enhancement of cerebral blood flow by hypoxia is critical for brain function, but signaling systems underlying its regulation have been unclear. We report a pathway mediating hypoxia-induced cerebral vasodilation in studies monitoring vascular disposition in cerebellar slices and in intact mouse brains using two-photon intravital laser scanning microscopy. In this cascade, hypoxia elicits cerebral vasodilation via the coordinate actions of H(2)S formed by cystathionine ?-synthase (CBS) and CO generated by heme oxygenase (HO)-2. Hypoxia diminishes CO generation by HO-2, an oxygen sensor. The constitutive CO physiologically inhibits CBS, and hypoxia leads to increased levels of H(2)S that mediate the vasodilation of precapillary arterioles. Mice with targeted deletion of HO-2 or CBS display impaired vascular responses to hypoxia. Thus, in intact adult brain cerebral cortex of HO-2-null mice, imaging mass spectrometry reveals an impaired ability to maintain ATP levels on hypoxia.
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