Aconitase 2 inhibits the proliferation of MCF-7 cells promoting mitochondrial oxidative metabolism and ROS/FoxO1-mediated autophagic response

Fabio Ciccarone, Luca Di Leo, Giacomo Lazzarino, Giuseppe Maulucci, Flavio Di Giacinto, Barbara Tavazzi, Maria Rosa Ciriolo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Deregulation of the tricarboxylic acid cycle (TCA) due to mutations in specific enzymes or defective aerobic metabolism is associated with tumour growth. Aconitase 2 (ACO2) participates in the TCA cycle by converting citrate to isocitrate, but no evident demonstrations of its involvement in cancer metabolism have been provided so far.

METHODS: Biochemical assays coupled with molecular biology, in silico, and cellular tools were applied to circumstantiate the impact of ACO2 in the breast cancer cell line MCF-7 metabolism. Fluorescence lifetime imaging microscopy (FLIM) of NADH was used to corroborate the changes in bioenergetics.

RESULTS: We showed that ACO2 levels are decreased in breast cancer cell lines and human tumour biopsies. We generated ACO2- overexpressing MCF-7 cells and employed comparative analyses to identify metabolic adaptations. We found that increased ACO2 expression impairs cell proliferation and commits cells to redirect pyruvate to mitochondria, which weakens Warburg-like bioenergetic features. We also demonstrated that the enhancement of oxidative metabolism was supported by mitochondrial biogenesis and FoxO1-mediated autophagy/mitophagy that sustains the increased ROS burst.

CONCLUSIONS: This work identifies ACO2 as a relevant gene in cancer metabolic rewiring of MCF-7 cells, promoting a different utilisation of pyruvate and revealing the potential metabolic vulnerability of ACO2-associated malignancies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)182-193
Number of pages12
JournalBritish Journal of Cancer
Volume122
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2020

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Aconitate Hydratase
MCF-7 Cells
Citric Acid Cycle
Pyruvic Acid
Energy Metabolism
Mitochondrial Degradation
Breast Neoplasms
Neoplasms
Neoplasm Genes
Optical Imaging
Autophagy
Organelle Biogenesis
Tumor Cell Line
Citric Acid
Computer Simulation
NAD
Molecular Biology
Microscopy
Mitochondria
Cell Proliferation

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Aconitase 2 inhibits the proliferation of MCF-7 cells promoting mitochondrial oxidative metabolism and ROS/FoxO1-mediated autophagic response. / Ciccarone, Fabio; Di Leo, Luca; Lazzarino, Giacomo; Maulucci, Giuseppe; Di Giacinto, Flavio; Tavazzi, Barbara; Ciriolo, Maria Rosa.

In: British Journal of Cancer, Vol. 122, No. 2, 01.2020, p. 182-193.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Ciccarone, Fabio ; Di Leo, Luca ; Lazzarino, Giacomo ; Maulucci, Giuseppe ; Di Giacinto, Flavio ; Tavazzi, Barbara ; Ciriolo, Maria Rosa. / Aconitase 2 inhibits the proliferation of MCF-7 cells promoting mitochondrial oxidative metabolism and ROS/FoxO1-mediated autophagic response. In: British Journal of Cancer. 2020 ; Vol. 122, No. 2. pp. 182-193.
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abstract = "BACKGROUND: Deregulation of the tricarboxylic acid cycle (TCA) due to mutations in specific enzymes or defective aerobic metabolism is associated with tumour growth. Aconitase 2 (ACO2) participates in the TCA cycle by converting citrate to isocitrate, but no evident demonstrations of its involvement in cancer metabolism have been provided so far.METHODS: Biochemical assays coupled with molecular biology, in silico, and cellular tools were applied to circumstantiate the impact of ACO2 in the breast cancer cell line MCF-7 metabolism. Fluorescence lifetime imaging microscopy (FLIM) of NADH was used to corroborate the changes in bioenergetics.RESULTS: We showed that ACO2 levels are decreased in breast cancer cell lines and human tumour biopsies. We generated ACO2- overexpressing MCF-7 cells and employed comparative analyses to identify metabolic adaptations. We found that increased ACO2 expression impairs cell proliferation and commits cells to redirect pyruvate to mitochondria, which weakens Warburg-like bioenergetic features. We also demonstrated that the enhancement of oxidative metabolism was supported by mitochondrial biogenesis and FoxO1-mediated autophagy/mitophagy that sustains the increased ROS burst.CONCLUSIONS: This work identifies ACO2 as a relevant gene in cancer metabolic rewiring of MCF-7 cells, promoting a different utilisation of pyruvate and revealing the potential metabolic vulnerability of ACO2-associated malignancies.",
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AU - Di Giacinto, Flavio

AU - Tavazzi, Barbara

AU - Ciriolo, Maria Rosa

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N2 - BACKGROUND: Deregulation of the tricarboxylic acid cycle (TCA) due to mutations in specific enzymes or defective aerobic metabolism is associated with tumour growth. Aconitase 2 (ACO2) participates in the TCA cycle by converting citrate to isocitrate, but no evident demonstrations of its involvement in cancer metabolism have been provided so far.METHODS: Biochemical assays coupled with molecular biology, in silico, and cellular tools were applied to circumstantiate the impact of ACO2 in the breast cancer cell line MCF-7 metabolism. Fluorescence lifetime imaging microscopy (FLIM) of NADH was used to corroborate the changes in bioenergetics.RESULTS: We showed that ACO2 levels are decreased in breast cancer cell lines and human tumour biopsies. We generated ACO2- overexpressing MCF-7 cells and employed comparative analyses to identify metabolic adaptations. We found that increased ACO2 expression impairs cell proliferation and commits cells to redirect pyruvate to mitochondria, which weakens Warburg-like bioenergetic features. We also demonstrated that the enhancement of oxidative metabolism was supported by mitochondrial biogenesis and FoxO1-mediated autophagy/mitophagy that sustains the increased ROS burst.CONCLUSIONS: This work identifies ACO2 as a relevant gene in cancer metabolic rewiring of MCF-7 cells, promoting a different utilisation of pyruvate and revealing the potential metabolic vulnerability of ACO2-associated malignancies.

AB - BACKGROUND: Deregulation of the tricarboxylic acid cycle (TCA) due to mutations in specific enzymes or defective aerobic metabolism is associated with tumour growth. Aconitase 2 (ACO2) participates in the TCA cycle by converting citrate to isocitrate, but no evident demonstrations of its involvement in cancer metabolism have been provided so far.METHODS: Biochemical assays coupled with molecular biology, in silico, and cellular tools were applied to circumstantiate the impact of ACO2 in the breast cancer cell line MCF-7 metabolism. Fluorescence lifetime imaging microscopy (FLIM) of NADH was used to corroborate the changes in bioenergetics.RESULTS: We showed that ACO2 levels are decreased in breast cancer cell lines and human tumour biopsies. We generated ACO2- overexpressing MCF-7 cells and employed comparative analyses to identify metabolic adaptations. We found that increased ACO2 expression impairs cell proliferation and commits cells to redirect pyruvate to mitochondria, which weakens Warburg-like bioenergetic features. We also demonstrated that the enhancement of oxidative metabolism was supported by mitochondrial biogenesis and FoxO1-mediated autophagy/mitophagy that sustains the increased ROS burst.CONCLUSIONS: This work identifies ACO2 as a relevant gene in cancer metabolic rewiring of MCF-7 cells, promoting a different utilisation of pyruvate and revealing the potential metabolic vulnerability of ACO2-associated malignancies.

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