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Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) adopts several unique metabolic strategies to support primary tumor growth. Whether additional metabolic strategies are adopted to support metastatic tumorigenesis is less clear. This could be particularly relevant for distant metastasis, which often follows a rapidly progressive clinical course. Here we report that PDAC distant metastases evolve a unique series of metabolic reactions to maintain activation of the anabolic glucose enzyme phosphogluconate dehydrogenase (PGD). PGD catalytic activity was recurrently elevated across distant metastases, and modulating PGD activity levels dictated tumorigenic capacity. Metabolomics data raised the possibility that distant metastases evolved a core pentose conversion pathway (PCP) that converted glucose-derived metabolites into PGD substrate, thereby hyperactivating the enzyme. Consistent with this, each individual metabolite in the PCP stimulated PGD catalysis in distant metastases, and knockdown of each individual PCP enzyme selectively impaired tumorigenesis. We propose that the PCP manufactures PGD substrate outside of the rate-limiting oxidative pentose phosphate pathway (oxPPP). This enables PGD-dependent tumorigenesis by providing adequate substrate to fuel high catalytic activity, and raises the possibility that PDAC distant metastases adopt their own unique metabolic strategies to support tumor growth.
OBJECTIVE - Glucose is the major energy substrate of the brain and crucial for normal brain function. In diabetes, the brain is subject to episodes of hypo- and hyperglycemia resulting in acute outcomes ranging from confusion to seizures, while chronic metabolic dysregulation puts patients at increased risk for depression and Alzheimer's disease. In the present study, we aimed to determine how glucose is metabolized in different regions of the brain using imaging mass spectrometry (IMS).
METHODS - To examine the relative abundance of glucose and other metabolites in the brain, mouse brain sections were subjected to imaging mass spectrometry at a resolution of 100 μm. This was correlated with immunohistochemistry, qPCR, western blotting and enzyme assays of dissected brain regions to determine the relative contributions of the glycolytic and pentose phosphate pathways to regional glucose metabolism.
RESULTS - In brain, there are significant regional differences in glucose metabolism, with low levels of hexose bisphosphate (a glycolytic intermediate) and high levels of the pentose phosphate pathway (PPP) enzyme glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) and PPP metabolite hexose phosphate in thalamus compared to cortex. The ratio of ATP to ADP is significantly higher in white matter tracts, such as corpus callosum, compared to less myelinated areas. While the brain is able to maintain normal ratios of hexose phosphate, hexose bisphosphate, ATP, and ADP during fasting, fasting causes a large increase in cortical and hippocampal lactate.
CONCLUSION - These data demonstrate the importance of direct measurement of metabolic intermediates to determine regional differences in brain glucose metabolism and illustrate the strength of imaging mass spectrometry for investigating the impact of changing metabolic states on brain function at a regional level with high resolution.
Copyright © 2018 The Authors. Published by Elsevier GmbH.. All rights reserved.
Soybean (Glycine max) seeds store significant amounts of their biomass as protein, levels of which reflect the carbon and nitrogen received by the developing embryo. The relationship between carbon and nitrogen supply during filling and seed composition was examined through a series of embryo-culturing experiments. Three distinct ratios of carbon to nitrogen supply were further explored through metabolic flux analysis. Labeling experiments utilizing [U-(13)C5]glutamine, [U-(13)C4]asparagine, and [1,2-(13)C2]glucose were performed to assess embryo metabolism under altered feeding conditions and to create corresponding flux maps. Additionally, [U-(14)C12]sucrose, [U-(14)C6]glucose, [U-(14)C5]glutamine, and [U-(14)C4]asparagine were used to monitor differences in carbon allocation. The analyses revealed that: (1) protein concentration as a percentage of total soybean embryo biomass coincided with the carbon-to-nitrogen ratio; (2) altered nitrogen supply did not dramatically impact relative amino acid or storage protein subunit profiles; and (3) glutamine supply contributed 10% to 23% of the carbon for biomass production, including 9% to 19% of carbon to fatty acid biosynthesis and 32% to 46% of carbon to amino acids. Seed metabolism accommodated different levels of protein biosynthesis while maintaining a consistent rate of dry weight accumulation. Flux through ATP-citrate lyase, combined with malic enzyme activity, contributed significantly to acetyl-coenzyme A production. These fluxes changed with plastidic pyruvate kinase to maintain a supply of pyruvate for amino and fatty acids. The flux maps were independently validated by nitrogen balancing and highlight the robustness of primary metabolism.
Understanding in vivo regulation of photoautotrophic metabolism is important for identifying strategies to improve photosynthetic efficiency or re-route carbon fluxes to desirable end products. We have developed an approach to reconstruct comprehensive flux maps of photoautotrophic metabolism by computational analysis of dynamic isotope labeling measurements and have applied it to determine metabolic pathway fluxes in the cyanobacterium Synechocystis sp. PCC6803. Comparison to a theoretically predicted flux map revealed inefficiencies in photosynthesis due to oxidative pentose phosphate pathway and malic enzyme activity, despite negligible photorespiration. This approach has potential to fill important gaps in our understanding of how carbon and energy flows are systemically regulated in cyanobacteria, plants, and algae.
Copyright Â© 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Palmitate (PA) is known to induce reactive oxygen species (ROS) formation and apoptosis in liver cells, whereas concurrent treatment of oleate (OA) with PA predominately induces steatosis without ROS in liver cells. We previously reported that PA treatment induces the decoupling of glycolysis and tricarboxylic acid cycle (TCA cycle) fluxes, but OA co-treatment restored most metabolic fluxes to their control levels. However, the mechanisms by which metabolites are linked to metabolic fluxes and subsequent lipoapoptotic or steatotic phenotypes remain unclear. To determine the link, we used GC-MS-based polar and non-polar metabolic profiling in lipoapoptosis- or steatosis-developing H4IIEC3 hepatoma cells, to examine the metabolome at different time points after treatment with either PA alone (PA cells) or both PA and OA (PA/OA cells). Metabolic profiles revealed various changes in metabolite levels for TCA cycle intermediates, pentose phosphate pathway (PPP) intermediates, and energy storage metabolites between PA and PA/OA cells. For example, adenosine was markedly increased only in PA cells, whereas gluconate was increased in PA/OA cells. To assess the interaction among these metabolites, the metabolite-to-metabolite correlations were calculated and correlation networks were visualized. These correlation networks demonstrate that a dissociation among PPP metabolites was introduced in PA-treated cells, and this dissociation was restored in PA/OA-treated cells. Thus, our data suggest that abnormal PPP fluxes, in addition to increased adenosine levels, might be related to the decoupling of glycolysis and the resulting lipoapoptotic phenotype.
Vitamin C, or ascorbic acid, is efficiently recycled from its oxidized forms by human erythrocytes. In this work the dependence of this recycling on reduced glutathione (GSH) was evaluated with regard to activation of the pentose cycle and to changes in pyridine nucleotide concentrations. The two-electron-oxidized form of ascorbic acid, dehydroascorbic acid (DHA) was rapidly taken up by erythrocytes and reduced to ascorbate, which reached intracellular concentrations as high as 2 mM. In the absence of D-glucose, DHA caused dose-dependent decreases in erythrocyte GSH, NADPH, and NADH concentrations. In the presence of 5 mM D-glucose, GSH and NADH concentrations were maintained, but those of NADPH decreased. Reduction of extracellular ferricyanide by erythrocytes, which reflects intracellular ascorbate recycling, was also enhanced by D-glucose, and ferricyanide activated the pentose cycle. Diethylmaleate at concentrations up to 1 mM was found to specifically deplete erythrocyte GSH by 75-90% without causing oxidant stress in the cells. Such GSH-depleted erythrocytes showed parallel decreases in their ability to take up and reduce DHA to ascorbate, and to reduce extracellular ferricyanide. These results show that DHA reduction involves GSH-dependent activation of D-glucose metabolism in the pentose cycle, but that in the absence of D-glucose DHA reduction can also utilize NADH.
The beta-cell toxin alloxan is reduced within cells to dialuric acid, which may then decompose to release damaging reactive oxygen species. We tested whether such redox cycling of alloxan occurs in the human erythrocyte, a cell with stronger antioxidant defenses than beta-cells. Erythrocytes incubated with increasing concentrations of alloxan progressively accumulated dialuric acid, as measured directly by HPLC with electrochemical detection. At concentrations up to 2 mM, alloxan decreased cellular GSH slightly, but did not affect erythrocyte contents of ascorbate or alpha-tocopherol. Intracellular H2O2 generation, measured as inhibition of endogenous catalase activity in the presence of 3-amino-1,2,4-triazole (aminotriazole), was decreased by alloxan. Despite its failure to induce significant oxidant stress in erythrocytes, 2 mM of alloxan doubled the activity of the hexose monophosphate pathway (HMP). This likely reflected consumption of reducing equivalents during reduction of alloxan to dialuric acid. Alloxan pretreatment enhanced the ability of erythrocytes to reduce extracellular ferricyanide while protecting alpha-tocopherol in the cell membrane from oxidation by ferricyanide. Ninhydrin, a hydrophobic derivative of alloxan, showed similar effects, but caused progressive GSH depletion and cell lysis at concentrations above 50 microM. The ability of alloxan to enhance ferricyanide reduction and to spare alpha-tocopherol suggests that dialuric acid or other reducing species within the cells can protect or recycle alpha-tocopherol and donate electrons to a transmembrane transfer process. This behavior resembles that observed for the dehydroascorbate (DHA)/ascorbate pair, and leads to the unexpected conclusion that alloxan increases the reducing capacity of the erythrocyte.