Life Metabolism

VOLUME 2 | ISSUE 2 | Apr 2023


Masafumi Noguchi, Luca Scorrano · 19 Apr 2023 load015

In a recent study published in Nature, Shackelford and colleagues use an innovative in vivo mitochondrial morphology and bioenergetics analysis pipeline to correlate the metabolic signature of non-small cell lung cancer subtypes to the ultrastructure of mitochondria and their contact sites with lipid droplets. This study paves the way for diagnostic and therapeutic protocols for lung cancer based on the rationale assessment and modulation of mitochondrial topology and ultrastructure.

Liming Wang, Han-Ming Shen · 17 Dec 2022 loac039

In recent studies published in Science and Nature Communications, three independent groups identified TMEM251, one transmembrane protein in Golgi, as an indispensable factor for lysosomal enzyme trafficking. Loss or mutation of TMEM251 results in hypersecretion of lysosomal enzymes due to lack of mannose-6-phosphate (M6P) modification, leading to lysosomal dysfunction and eventually lysosome storage disorders (LSDs).

Dougall Norris, Yvette Aw, Hongyuan Yang · 18 Jan 2023 load003

In a recent article published in Nature Metabolism, Peter Tontonoz and colleagues found that the Aster/GramD1 proteins were required for plasma membrane cholesterol to reach the endoplasmic reticulum in mouse liver during fasting, LDL uptake, or reverse cholesterol transport. The Aster/GramD1 pathway plays a key role in maintaining hepatic and systemic cholesterol/lipid homeostasis.

Na Liand Tiffany Horng · 11 Mar 2023 load009


Tiantian Ma, Wei Mao, Shaohua Zhang, Yaqing Wang, Tao Wang, Jinghua Liu, Lei Shi, Xiang Yu, Rong Xue, Guanghou Shui, Zhiheng Xu · 23 Mar 2023 load010

Lipid-rich myelin is a special structure formed by oligodendrocytes wrapping neuronal axons. Abnormal myelin sheath is associated with many neurological diseases. Meningioma-expressed antigen 6 (Mea6)/cutaneous T cell lymphoma-associated antigen 5C (cTAGE5C) plays an important role in vesicle trafficking from the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) to Golgi, and conditional knockout (cKO) of Mea6 in the brain significantly affects neural development and brain function. However, whether the impaired brain function involves the development of oligodendrocytes and white matter beyond neurons remains unclear. In this study, by using different models of diffusion magnetic resonance imaging, we showed that cKO of Mea6 in oligodendrocytes leads to significant impairment of the gross and microstructure of the white matter, as well as a significant decrease of cholesterol and triglycerides in brains. Our lipidomic analysis of purified myelin sheath for the first time showed that Mea6 elimination in oligodendrocytes significantly altered the lipid composition in myelin lipidome, especially the proportion of very long-chain fatty acids (VLCFAs). In particular, the levels of most VLCFA-containing phosphatidylcholines were substantially lower in the myelin sheath of the cKO mice. The reduction of VLCFAs is likely due to the downregulated expression of elongation of very long-chain fatty acids (ELOVLs ). Our study of an animal model with white matter malformation and the comprehensive lipid profiling would provide clues for future studies of the formation of myelin sheath, myelin lipids, and the pathogenesis of white matter diseases.

Patrick J Ferrara, Marisa J Lang, Jordan M Johnson, Shinya Watanabe, Kelsey L McLaughlin, J Alan Maschek, Anthony R P Verkerke, Piyarat Siripoksup, Amandine Chaix, James E Cox, Kelsey H Fisher-Wellman, Katsuhiko Funai · 04 Apr 2023 load014

Weight loss from an overweight state is associated with a disproportionate decrease in whole-body energy expenditure that may contribute to the heightened risk for weight regain. Evidence suggests that this energetic mismatch originates from lean tissue. Although this phenomenon is well documented, the mechanisms have remained elusive. We hypothesized that increased mitochondrial energy efficiency in skeletal muscle is associated with reduced expenditure under weight loss. Wildtype (WT) male C57BL6/N mice were fed with high fat diet for 10 weeks, followed by a subset of mice that were maintained on the obesogenic diet (OB) or switched to standard chow to promote weight loss (WL) for additional 6 weeks. Mitochondrial energy efficiency was evaluated using high-resolution respirometry and fluorometry. Mass spectrometric analyses were employed to describe the mitochondrial proteome and lipidome. Weight loss promoted ~50% increase in the efficiency of oxidative phosphorylation (ATP produced per O2 consumed, or P/O) in skeletal muscle. However, weight loss did not appear to induce significant changes in mitochondrial proteome, nor any changes in respiratory supercomplex formation. Instead, it accelerated the remodeling of mitochondrial cardiolipin (CL) acyl-chains to increase tetralinoleoyl CL (TLCL) content, a species of lipids thought to be functionally critical for the respiratory enzymes. We further show that lowering TLCL by deleting the CL transacylase tafazzin was sufficient to reduce skeletal muscle P/O and protect mice from diet-induced weight gain. These findings implicate skeletal muscle mitochondrial efficiency as a novel mechanism by which weight loss reduces energy expenditure in obesity.

Xiaojing Wu, Xian-Hua Ma, Jie Lin, Xiaohang Yang, Jian-Hui Shi, Zhifang Xie, Yu-Xia Chen, Weiping J Zhang · 16 Mar 2023 load011

Excessive cholesterol absorption from intestinal lumen contributes to the pathogenesis of hypercholesterolemia, which is an independent risk factor for atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease. Niemann-Pick C1-like 1 (NPC1L1) is a major membrane protein responsible for cholesterol absorption, in which the physiological role of vesicular endocytosis is still controversial, and it lacks a feasible tool to visualize and evaluate the endocytosis of NPC1L1 vesicles in vivo. Here, we genetically labelled endogenous NPC1L1 protein with EGFP in a knock-in mouse model, and demonstrated fluorescent visualization and evaluation of the endocytic vesicles of NPC1L1-cago during intestinal cholesterol absorption. The homozygous NPC1L1-EGFP mice have normal NPC1L1 expression pattern as well as cholesterol homeostasis on chow or high-cholesterol diets. The fluorescence of NPC1L1-EGFP fusion protein localizes at the brush border membrane of small intestine, and EGFP-positive vesicles is visualized beneath the membrane as early as 5 min post oral gavage of cholesterol. Of note, the vesicles colocalize with the early endosomal marker early endosome antigen 1 (EEA1) and the filipin-stained free cholesterol. Pretreatment with NPC1L1 inhibitor ezetimibe inhibits the formation of these cholesterol-induced endocytic vesicles. Our data support the notion that NPC1L1-mediated cholesterol absorption is a vesicular endocytic process. NPC1L1-EGFP mice are a useful model for visualizing cellular NPC1L1-cargo vesicle itineraries and for evaluating of NPC1L1 activity in vivo in response to diverse pharmacological agents and nutrients.