Life Sciences Research for Lifelong Health

Publications michael-wakelam

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Modeling Meets Metabolomics-The WormJam Consensus Model as Basis for Metabolic Studies in the Model Organism .
Witting M, Hastings J, Rodriguez N, Joshi CJ, Hattwell JPN, Ebert PR, van Weeghel M, Gao AW, Wakelam MJO, Houtkooper RH, Mains A, Le Novère N, Sadykoff S, Schroeder F, Lewis NE, Schirra HJ, Kaleta C, Casanueva O

Metabolism is one of the attributes of life and supplies energy and building blocks to organisms. Therefore, understanding metabolism is crucial for the understanding of complex biological phenomena. Despite having been in the focus of research for centuries, our picture of metabolism is still incomplete. Metabolomics, the systematic analysis of all small molecules in a biological system, aims to close this gap. In order to facilitate such investigations a blueprint of the metabolic network is required. Recently, several metabolic network reconstructions for the model organism have been published, each having unique features. We have established the WormJam Community to merge and reconcile these (and other unpublished models) into a single consensus metabolic reconstruction. In a series of workshops and annotation seminars this model was refined with manual correction of incorrect assignments, metabolite structure and identifier curation as well as addition of new pathways. The WormJam consensus metabolic reconstruction represents a rich data source not only for network-based approaches like flux balance analysis, but also for metabolomics, as it includes a database of metabolites present in , which can be used for annotation. Here we present the process of model merging, correction and curation and give a detailed overview of the model. In the future it is intended to expand the model toward different tissues and put special emphasizes on lipid metabolism and secondary metabolism including ascaroside metabolism in accordance to their central role in physiology.

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Frontiers in molecular biosciences, 5, 2296-889X, 96, 2018

PMID: 30488036

3D growth of cancer cells elicits sensitivity to kinase inhibitors but not lipid metabolism modifiers.
Jones DT, Valli A, Haider S, Zang Q, Smethurst E, Schug ZT, Peck B, Aboagye EO, Critchlow SE, Schulze A, Gottlieb E, Wakelam MJO, Adrian HL

Tumour cells exhibit altered lipid metabolism compared to normal cells. Cell signalling kinases are important for regulating lipid synthesis and energy storage. How upstream kinases regulate lipid content, versus direct targeting of lipid metabolising enzymes, is currently unexplored. We evaluated intracellular lipid concentrations in prostate and breast tumour spheroids, treated with drugs directly inhibiting metabolic enzymes FASN, ACC, DGAT and PDHK, or cell signalling kinase enzymes PI3K, AKT and mTOR with lipidomic analysis. We assessed whether baseline lipid profiles corresponded to inhibitors' effectiveness in modulating lipid profiles in 3D-growth, and their relationship to therapeutic activity. Inhibitors against PI3K, AKT and mTOR significantly inhibited MDA-MB-468 and PC3 cell growth in 2D and 3D spheroid growth, while moderately altering lipid content. Conversely, metabolism inhibitors against FASN and DGAT altered lipid content most effectively, while only moderately inhibiting growth compared to kinase inhibitors. The FASN and ACC inhibitors' effectiveness in MDA-MB-468, versus PC3, suggested the former depended more on synthesis whereas the latter may salvage lipids. Although baseline lipid profiles didn't predict growth effects, lipid changes on therapy matched the growth effects of FASN and DGAT inhibitors. Several phospholipids, including phosphatidylcholine, were also upregulated following treatment, possibly via the Kennedy pathway. As this promotes tumour growth, combination studies should include drugs targeting it. Two-dimensional drug screening may miss important metabolism inhibitors or underestimate their potency. Clinical studies should consider serial measurements of tumour lipids to prove target modulation. Pre-therapy tumour classification by de novo lipid synthesis versus uptake may help demonstrate efficacy.

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Molecular cancer therapeutics, , 1538-8514, , 2018

PMID: 30478149

CD151 regulates expression of FGFR2 in breast cancer cells via PKC-dependent pathways.
Sadej R, Lu X, Turczyk L, Novitskaya V, Lopez-Clavijo AF, Kordek R, Potemski P, Wakelam MJO, Romanska H, Berditchevski F

Expression of the tetraspanin CD151 is frequently upregulated in epithelial malignancies and correlates with poor prognosis. Here we report that CD151 is involved in regulation of the expression of fibroblast growth factor receptor 2 (FGFR2). Depletion of CD151 in breast cancer cells resulted in an increased level of FGFR2. Accordingly, an inverse correlation between CD151 and FGFR2 was observed in breast cancer tissues. CD151-dependent regulation of the FGFR2 expression relies on post-transcriptional mechanisms involving HuR/ELAVL1, a multifunctional RNA binding protein, and the assembly of processing bodies (P-bodies). Depletion of CD151 correlated with inhibition of PKC, a well-established downstream target of CD151. Accordingly, the levels of dialcylglycerol species were decreased in CD151-negative cells, and inhibition of PKC resulted in the increased expression of FGFR2. Whilst expression of FGFR2 itself did not correlate with any of the clinicopathological data, the FGFR2-/CD151+ patients are more likely to develop lymph node metastasis. Conversely, FGFR2-/CD151- patients demonstrated better overall survival. These results illustrate functional interdependency between CD151 complexes and FGFR2 and suggest a previously unsuspected role of CD151 in breast tumourigenesis.

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Journal of cell science, , 1477-9137, , 2018

PMID: 30257985

MS-based lipidomics of human blood plasma - a community-initiated position paper to develop accepted guidelines.
Burla B, Arita M, Arita M, Bendt AK, Cazenave-Gassiot A, Dennis EA, Ekroos K, Han X, Ikeda K, Liebisch G, Lin MK, Loh TP, Meikle PJ, Orešič M, Quehenberger O, Shevchenko A, Torta F, Wakelam MJO, Wheelock CE, Wenk MR

Human blood is a self-regenerating, lipid-rich biologic fluid that is routinely collected in hospital settings. The inventory of lipid molecules found in blood plasma (plasma lipidome) offers insights into individual metabolism and physiology in health and disease. Disturbances in lipid metabolism also occur in conditions that are not directly linked to lipid metabolism; therefore, plasma lipidomics based on mass spectrometry (MS) is an emerging tool in an array of clinical diagnostics and disease management. However, challenges exist in the translation of such lipidomic data to clinical applications. These relate to the reproducibility, accuracy, and precision of lipid quantitation, study design, sample handling, and data sharing. This position paper emerged from a workshop that initiated a community-led process to elaborate and define a set of generally accepted guidelines for quantitative MS-based lipidomics of blood plasma or serum, with harmonization of data acquired on different instrumentation platforms in independent laboratories across laboratories as an ultimate goal. We hope that other fields may benefit from and follow such a precedent.

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Journal of lipid research, , 1539-7262, , 2018

PMID: 30115755

Open Access

C. elegans Eats Its Own Intestine to Make Yolk Leading to Multiple Senescent Pathologies.
Ezcurra M, Benedetto A, Sornda T, Gilliat AF, Au C, Zhang Q, van Schelt S, Petrache AL, Wang H, de la Guardia Y, Bar-Nun S, Tyler E, Wakelam MJ, Gems D

Aging (senescence) is characterized by the development of numerous pathologies, some of which limit lifespan. Key to understanding aging is discovery of the mechanisms (etiologies) that cause senescent pathology. In C. elegans, a major senescent pathology of unknown etiology is atrophy of its principal metabolic organ, the intestine. Here we identify a cause of not only this pathology but also of yolky lipid accumulation and redistribution (a form of senescent obesity): autophagy-mediated conversion of intestinal biomass into yolk. Inhibiting intestinal autophagy or vitellogenesis rescues both visceral pathologies and can also extend lifespan. This defines a disease syndrome leading to multimorbidity and contributing to late-life mortality. Activation of gut-to-yolk biomass conversion by insulin/IGF-1 signaling (IIS) promotes reproduction and senescence. This illustrates how major, IIS-promoted senescent pathologies in C. elegans can originate not from damage accumulation but from direct effects of futile, continued action of a wild-type biological program (vitellogenesis).

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Current biology : CB, , 1879-0445, , 2018

PMID: 30100339

Open Access

Host lipidome analysis during rhinovirus replication in human bronchial epithelial cells identifies potential therapeutic targets.
Nguyen A, Guedan A, Mousnier A, Swieboda D, Zhang Q, Horkai D, Le Novere N, Solari R, Wakelam MJO

In patients with asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease rhinovirus infections can provoke acute worsening of disease and limited treatment options exist. Viral replication in the host cell induces significant remodeling of intracellular membranes, but few studies have explored this mechanistically or as a therapeutic opportunity. We performed unbiased lipidomic analysis on human bronchial epithelial cells infected over a 6 hour period with the RV-A1b strain of rhinovirus to determine changes in 493 distinct lipid species. Through pathway and network analysis we identified temporal changes in the apparent activities of a number of lipid metabolizing and signaling enzymes. In particular, analysis highlighted fatty acid synthesis and ceramide metabolism as potential anti-rhinoviral targets. To validate the importance of these enzymes in viral replication, we explored the effects of commercially-available enzyme inhibitors upon RV-A1b infection and replication. Ceranib-1, D609 and C75 were the most potent inhibitors, which confirmed that fatty acid synthase and ceramidase are potential inhibitory targets in rhinoviral infections. More broadly, this study demonstrates the potential of lipidomics and pathway analysis to identify novel targets to treat human disorders.

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Journal of lipid research, , 1539-7262, , 2018

PMID: 29946055

Open Access

Flotillin proteins recruit sphingosine to membranes and maintain cellular sphingosine-1-phosphate levels.
Riento K, Zhang Q, Clark J, Begum F, Stephens E, Wakelam MJ, Nichols BJ

Sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P) is an important lipid signalling molecule. S1P is produced via intracellular phosphorylation of sphingosine (Sph). As a lipid with a single fatty alkyl chain, Sph may diffuse rapidly between cellular membranes and through the aqueous phase. Here, we show that the absence of microdomains generated by multimeric assemblies of flotillin proteins results in reduced S1P levels. Cellular phenotypes of flotillin knockout mice, including changes in histone acetylation and expression of Isg15, are recapitulated when S1P synthesis is perturbed. Flotillins bind to Sph in vitro and increase recruitment of Sph to membranes in cells. Ectopic re-localisation of flotillins within the cell causes concomitant redistribution of Sph. The data suggest that flotillins may directly or indirectly regulate cellular sphingolipid distribution and signalling.

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PloS one, 13, 1932-6203, e0197401, 2018

PMID: 29787576

Open Access

Extracellular vesicles : lipids as key components of their biogenesis and functions.
Record M, Silvente-Poirot S, Poirot M, Wakelam MJO

Intercellular communication has been known for decades to involve either direct contact between cells or to operate by spreading molecules such as cytokines, growth factors, or lipid mediators. Through the last decade we have begun to appreciate the increasing importance of intercellular communication mediated by extracellular vesicles released by viable cells either from plasma membrane shedding microvesicles, also named microparticles), or from an intracellular compartment (exosomes). Exosomes and microvesicles circulate in all biological fluids and can trigger biological responses at distance. Their effects include a large variety of biological processes such as immune surveillance, modification of tumor microenvironment, or regulation of inflammation. They carry a large set of active molecules, including lipid mediators such as eicosanoids, proteins and nucleic acids, able to modify the phenotype of receiving cells. This review will highlight the role of the various lipidic pathways involved in the biogenesis and functions of microvesicles and exosomes.

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Journal of lipid research, , 1539-7262, , 2018

PMID: 29764923

Open Access

Phospholipid signaling in innate immune cells.
O'Donnell VB, Rossjohn J, Wakelam MJ

Phospholipids comprise a large body of lipids that define cells and organelles by forming membrane structures. Importantly, their complex metabolism represents a highly controlled cellular signaling network that is essential for mounting an effective innate immune response. Phospholipids in innate cells are subject to dynamic regulation by enzymes, whose activities are highly responsive to activation status. Along with their metabolic products, they regulate multiple aspects of innate immune cell biology, including shape change, aggregation, blood clotting, and degranulation. Phospholipid hydrolysis provides substrates for cell-cell communication, enables regulation of hemostasis, immunity, thrombosis, and vascular inflammation, and is centrally important in cardiovascular disease and associated comorbidities. Phospholipids themselves are also recognized by innate-like T cells, which are considered essential for recognition of infection or cancer, as well as self-antigens. This Review describes the major phospholipid metabolic pathways present in innate immune cells and summarizes the formation and metabolism of phospholipids as well as their emerging roles in cell biology and disease.

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The Journal of clinical investigation, , 1558-8238, , 2018

PMID: 29683435

Deciphering lipid structures based on platform-independent decision rules.
Hartler J, Triebl A, Ziegl A, Trötzmüller M, Rechberger GN, Zeleznik OA, Zierler KA, Torta F, Cazenave-Gassiot A, Wenk MR, Fauland A, Wheelock CE, Armando AM, Quehenberger O, Zhang Q, Wakelam MJO, Haemmerle G, Spener F, Köfeler HC, Thallinger GG

We achieve automated and reliable annotation of lipid species and their molecular structures in high-throughput data from chromatography-coupled tandem mass spectrometry using decision rule sets embedded in Lipid Data Analyzer (LDA; http://genome.tugraz.at/lda2). Using various low- and high-resolution mass spectrometry instruments with several collision energies, we proved the method's platform independence. We propose that the software's reliability, flexibility, and ability to identify novel lipid molecular species may now render current state-of-the-art lipid libraries obsolete.

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Nature methods, , 1548-7105, , 2017

PMID: 29058722

Dietary restriction protects from age-associated DNA methylation and induces epigenetic reprogramming of lipid metabolism.
Hahn O, Grönke S, Stubbs TM, Ficz G, Hendrich O, Krueger F, Andrews S, Zhang Q, Wakelam MJ, Beyer A, Reik W, Partridge L

Dietary restriction (DR), a reduction in food intake without malnutrition, increases most aspects of health during aging and extends lifespan in diverse species, including rodents. However, the mechanisms by which DR interacts with the aging process to improve health in old age are poorly understood. DNA methylation could play an important role in mediating the effects of DR because it is sensitive to the effects of nutrition and can affect gene expression memory over time.

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Genome biology, 18, 1474-760X, 56, 2017

PMID: 28351387

Open Access

Autotaxin-lysophosphatidic acid receptor signalling regulates hepatitis C virus replication.
Farquhar MJ, Humphreys IS, Rudge SA, Wilson GK, Bhattacharya B, Ciaccia M, Hu K, Zhang Q, Mailly L, Reynolds GM, Aschcroft M, Balfe P, Baumert TF, Roessler S, Wakelam MJ, McKeating JA

Chronic hepatitis C is a global health problem with an estimated 170 million HCV infected individuals at risk of progressive liver disease and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Autotaxin (ATX) is a phospholipase with diverse roles in physiological and pathological processes including inflammation and oncogenesis. Clinical studies have reported increased ATX expression in chronic hepatitis C, however, the pathways regulating ATX and its role in the viral life cycle are not well understood.

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Journal of hepatology, , 1600-0641, , 2017

PMID: 28126468

Runx1 Orchestrates Sphingolipid Metabolism and Glucocorticoid Resistance in Lymphomagenesis.
Kilbey A, Terry A, Wotton S, Borland G, Zhang Q, Mackay N, McDonald A, Bell M, Wakelam MJ, Cameron ER, Neil JC

The three-membered RUNX gene family includes RUNX1, a major mutational target in human leukemias, and displays hallmarks of both tumor suppressors and oncogenes. In mouse models, the Runx genes appear to act as conditional oncogenes, as ectopic expression is growth suppressive in normal cells but drives lymphoma development potently when combined with over-expressed Myc or loss of p53. Clues to underlying mechanisms emerged previously from murine fibroblasts where ectopic expression of any of the Runx genes promotes survival through direct and indirect regulation of key enzymes in sphingolipid metabolism associated with a shift in the "sphingolipid rheostat" from ceramide to sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P). Testing of this relationship in lymphoma cells was therefore a high priority. We find that ectopic expression of Runx1 in lymphoma cells consistently perturbs the sphingolipid rheostat, whereas an essential physiological role for Runx1 is revealed by reduced S1P levels in normal spleen after partial Cre-mediated excision. Furthermore, we show that ectopic Runx1 expression confers increased resistance of lymphoma cells to glucocorticoid-mediated apoptosis, and elucidate the mechanism of cross-talk between glucocorticoid and sphingolipid metabolism through Sgpp1. Dexamethasone potently induces expression of Sgpp1 in T-lymphoma cells and drives cell death which is reduced by partial knockdown of Sgpp1 with shRNA or direct transcriptional repression of Sgpp1 by ectopic Runx1. Together these data show that Runx1 plays a role in regulating the sphingolipid rheostat in normal development and that perturbation of this cell fate regulator contributes to Runx-driven lymphomagenesis. J. Cell. Biochem. 118: 1432-1441, 2017. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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Journal of cellular biochemistry, 118, 1097-4644, 1432-1441, 2017

PMID: 27869314

Open Access

Phospholipase D activity couples plasma membrane endocytosis with retromer dependent recycling.
Thakur R, Panda A, Coessens E, Raj N, Yadav S, Balakrishnan S, Zhang Q, Georgiev P, Basak B, Pasricha R, Wakelam MJ, Ktistakis NT, Padinjat R

During illumination, the light sensitive plasma membrane (rhabdomere) of Drosophila photoreceptors undergoes turnover with consequent changes in size and composition. However the mechanism by which illumination is coupled to rhabdomere turnover remains unclear. We find that photoreceptors contain a light-dependent phospholipase D (PLD) activity. During illumination, loss of PLD resulted in an enhanced reduction in rhabdomere size, accumulation of Rab7 positive, rhodopsin1-containing vesicles (RLVs) in the cell body and reduced rhodopsin protein. These phenotypes were associated with reduced levels of phosphatidic acid, the product of PLD activity and were rescued by reconstitution with catalytically active PLD. In wild type photoreceptors, during illumination, enhanced PLD activity was sufficient to clear RLVs from the cell body by a process dependent on Arf1-GTP levels and retromer complex function. Thus, during illumination, PLD activity couples endocytosis of RLVs with their recycling to the plasma membrane thus maintaining plasma membrane size and composition.

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eLife, 5, 2050-084X, , 2016

PMID: 27848911

Open Access

Using lipidomics analysis to determine signalling and metabolic changes in cells.
Nguyen A, Rudge SA, Zhang Q, Wakelam MJ

Recent advances in lipidomics tools and software assist in the identification and quantification of lipid species detected by mass spectrometry. By integrating mass spectrometric lipid data into mapped pathways and databases, an entire network of lipid species which both demonstrates the complexity of lipid structures and biochemical interactions can be constructed. Here we demonstrate lipidomics analysis at both systematic and molecular levels. This review focuses on four points: how lipid data can be collected and processed with the support of tools, software and databases; how lipidomic analysis is performed at the molecular level; how to integrate data analysis into a biological context; how the results of such analysis predict enzyme activities and potential sites for therapeutic interventions or manipulation of enzyme activities.

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Current opinion in biotechnology, 43, 1879-0429, 96-103, 2017

PMID: 27816901

Insulin resistance uncoupled from dyslipidemia due to C-terminal PIK3R1 mutations.
Huang-Doran I, Tomlinson P, Payne F, Gast A, Sleigh A, Bottomley W, Harris J, Daly A, Rocha N, Rudge S, Clark J, Kwok A, Romeo S, McCann E, Müksch B, Dattani M, Zucchini S, Wakelam M, Foukas LC, Savage DB, Murphy R, O'Rahilly S, Barroso I, Semple RK

Obesity-related insulin resistance is associated with fatty liver, dyslipidemia, and low plasma adiponectin. Insulin resistance due to insulin receptor (INSR) dysfunction is associated with none of these, but when due to dysfunction of the downstream kinase AKT2 phenocopies obesity-related insulin resistance. We report 5 patients with SHORT syndrome and C-terminal mutations in PIK3R1, encoding the p85α/p55α/p50α subunits of PI3K, which act between INSR and AKT in insulin signaling. Four of 5 patients had extreme insulin resistance without dyslipidemia or hepatic steatosis. In 3 of these 4, plasma adiponectin was preserved, as in insulin receptor dysfunction. The fourth patient and her healthy mother had low plasma adiponectin associated with a potentially novel mutation, p.Asp231Ala, in adiponectin itself. Cells studied from one patient with the p.Tyr657X PIK3R1 mutation expressed abundant truncated PIK3R1 products and showed severely reduced insulin-stimulated association of mutant but not WT p85α with IRS1, but normal downstream signaling. In 3T3-L1 preadipocytes, mutant p85α overexpression attenuated insulin-induced AKT phosphorylation and adipocyte differentiation. Thus, PIK3R1 C-terminal mutations impair insulin signaling only in some cellular contexts and produce a subphenotype of insulin resistance resembling INSR dysfunction but unlike AKT2 dysfunction, implicating PI3K in the pathogenesis of key components of the metabolic syndrome.

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JCI insight, 1, , e88766, 2016

PMID: 27766312

Open Access

The Phospholipase D2 Knock Out Mouse Has Ectopic Purkinje Cells and Suffers from Early Adult-Onset Anosmia.
Vermeren MM, Zhang Q, Smethurst E, Segonds-Pichon A, Schrewe H, Wakelam MJ

Phospholipase D2 (PLD2) is an enzyme that produces phosphatidic acid (PA), a lipid messenger molecule involved in a number of cellular events including, through its membrane curvature properties, endocytosis. The PLD2 knock out (PLD2KO) mouse has been previously reported to be protected from insult in a model of Alzheimer's disease. We have further analysed a PLD2KO mouse using mass spectrophotometry of its lipids and found significant differences in PA species throughout its brain. We have examined the expression pattern of PLD2 which allowed us to define which region of the brain to analyse for defect, notably PLD2 was not detected in glial-rich regions. The expression pattern lead us to specifically examine the mitral cells of olfactory bulbs, the Cornus Amonis (CA) regions of the hippocampus and the Purkinje cells of the cerebellum. We find that the change to longer PA species correlates with subtle architectural defect in the cerebellum, exemplified by ectopic Purkinje cells and an adult-onset deficit of olfaction. These observations draw parallels to defects in the reelin heterozygote as well as the effect of high fat diet on olfaction.

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PloS one, 11, 1932-6203, e0162814, 0

PMID: 27658289

Open Access

Exosomes bind autotaxin and act as a physiological delivery mechanism to stimulate LPA receptor signalling in cells.
Jethwa SA, Leah EJ, Zhang Q, Bright NA, Oxley D, Bootman MD, Rudge SA, Wakelam MJ

Autotaxin (ATX) the lysophospholipase responsible for generating the lipid receptor agonist lysophosphatidic acid (LPA) is a secreted enzyme. Here we show that once secreted it can bind to the surface of cell secreted exosomes. Exosome-bound ATX is catalytically active and carries generated LPA. Once bound to a cell, through specific integrin interaction, ATX releases the LPA to activate cell surface G-protein coupled LPA receptors; inhibition of signaling by the receptor antagonist Ki1642 suggests these are either LPAR1 or LPAR3. The binding stimulates downstream signaling including AKT and MAPK phosphorylation, the release of intracellular stored calcium and cell migration. We propose that exosomal binding of LPA-loaded ATX provides a means of efficiently delivering the lipid agonist to cell surface receptors to promote signalling. We further propose that this is a means whereby autotaxin-LPA signaling operates physiologically.

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Journal of cell science, , 1477-9137, , 2016

PMID: 27557622

Open Access

C13orf31 (FAMIN) is a central regulator of immunometabolic function.
Cader MZ, Boroviak K, Zhang Q, Assadi G, Kempster SL, Sewell GW, Saveljeva S, Ashcroft JW, Clare S, Mukhopadhyay S, Brown KP, Tschurtschenthaler M, Raine T, Doe B, Chilvers ER, Griffin JL, Kaneider NC, Floto RA, D'Amato M, Bradley A, Wakelam MJ, Dougan G, Kaser A

Single-nucleotide variations in C13orf31 (LACC1) that encode p.C284R and p.I254V in a protein of unknown function (called 'FAMIN' here) are associated with increased risk for systemic juvenile idiopathic arthritis, leprosy and Crohn's disease. Here we set out to identify the biological mechanism affected by these coding variations. FAMIN formed a complex with fatty acid synthase (FASN) on peroxisomes and promoted flux through de novo lipogenesis to concomitantly drive high levels of fatty-acid oxidation (FAO) and glycolysis and, consequently, ATP regeneration. FAMIN-dependent FAO controlled inflammasome activation, mitochondrial and NADPH-oxidase-dependent production of reactive oxygen species (ROS), and the bactericidal activity of macrophages. As p.I254V and p.C284R resulted in diminished function and loss of function, respectively, FAMIN determined resilience to endotoxin shock. Thus, we have identified a central regulator of the metabolic function and bioenergetic state of macrophages that is under evolutionary selection and determines the risk of inflammatory and infectious disease.

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Nature immunology, , 1529-2916, , 2016

PMID: 27478939

Inhibition of fatty acid desaturation is detrimental to cancer cell survival in metabolically compromised environments.
Peck B, Schug ZT, Zhang Q, Dankworth B, Jones DT, Smethurst E, Patel R, Mason S, Jiang M, Saunders R, Howell M, Mitter R, Spencer-Dene B, Stamp G, McGarry L, James D, Shanks E, Aboagye EO, Critchlow SE, Leung HY, Harris AL, Wakelam MJ, Gottlieb E, Schulze A

Enhanced macromolecule biosynthesis is integral to growth and proliferation of cancer cells. Lipid biosynthesis has been predicted to be an essential process in cancer cells. However, it is unclear which enzymes within this pathway offer the best selectivity for cancer cells and could be suitable therapeutic targets.

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Cancer & metabolism, 4, 2049-3002, 6, 2016

PMID: 27042297

Open Access

Purification, characterization and crystallization of the F-ATPase from Paracoccus denitrificans.
Morales-Rios E, Watt IN, Zhang Q, Ding S, Fearnley IM, Montgomery MG, Wakelam MJ, Walker JE

The structures of F-ATPases have been determined predominantly with mitochondrial enzymes, but hitherto no F-ATPase has been crystallized intact. A high-resolution model of the bovine enzyme built up from separate sub-structures determined by X-ray crystallography contains about 85% of the entire complex, but it lacks a crucial region that provides a transmembrane proton pathway involved in the generation of the rotary mechanism that drives the synthesis of ATP. Here the isolation, characterization and crystallization of an integral F-ATPase complex from the α-proteobacterium Paracoccus denitrificans are described. Unlike many eubacterial F-ATPases, which can both synthesize and hydrolyse ATP, the P. denitrificans enzyme can only carry out the synthetic reaction. The mechanism of inhibition of its ATP hydrolytic activity involves a ζ inhibitor protein, which binds to the catalytic F1-domain of the enzyme. The complex that has been crystallized, and the crystals themselves, contain the nine core proteins of the complete F-ATPase complex plus the ζ inhibitor protein. The formation of crystals depends upon the presence of bound bacterial cardiolipin and phospholipid molecules; when they were removed, the complex failed to crystallize. The experiments open the way to an atomic structure of an F-ATPase complex.

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Open biology, 5, 2046-2441, , 2015

PMID: 26423580

Cell cycle progression is an essential regulatory component of phospholipid metabolism and membrane homeostasis.
Sanchez-Alvarez M, Zhang Q, Finger F, Wakelam MJ, Bakal C

We show that phospholipid anabolism does not occur uniformly during the metazoan cell cycle. Transition to S-phase is required for optimal mobilization of lipid precursors, synthesis of specific phospholipid species and endoplasmic reticulum (ER) homeostasis. Average changes observed in whole-cell phospholipid composition, and total ER lipid content, upon stimulation of cell growth can be explained by the cell cycle distribution of the population. TORC1 promotes phospholipid anabolism by slowing S/G2 progression. The cell cycle stage-specific nature of lipid biogenesis is dependent on p53. We propose that coupling lipid metabolism to cell cycle progression is a means by which cells have evolved to coordinate proliferation with cell and organelle growth.

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Open biology, 5, 2046-2441, , 2015

PMID: 26333836

Open Access

Phosphoinositide 3-kinase-related overgrowth: cellular phenotype and future therapeutic options.
Parker VE, Knox RG, Zhang Q, Wakelam MJ, Semple RK

Somatic activating mutations in PIK3CA, which encodes the p110α catalytic subunit of phosphoinositide-3-kinase (PI3K) are frequently found in cancers and have been identified in a spectrum of mosaic overgrowth disorders ranging from isolated digit enlargement to more extensive overgrowth of the body, brain, or vasculature. We aimed to study affected dermal fibroblasts with a view to inform therapeutic studies, and to observe cancer-associated mutations in isolation.

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Lancet (London, England), 385 Suppl 1, 1474-547X, S77, 2015

PMID: 26312899

Phosphatidylinositolphosphate Phosphatase Activities and Cancer.
Rudge SA, Wakelam MJ

Signalling through the PI3kinases pathways mediates the actions of a plethora of hormones, growth factors, cytokines and neurotransmitters upon their target cells following receptor occupation. Over-activation of these pathways has been implicated in a number of pathologies in particular a range of malignancies. The tight regulation of signalling pathways necessitates the involvement of both stimulatory a terminating enzymes, inappropriate activation of a pathway can thus result from activation or inhibition of the two signalling arms. A range of enzymes have been identified that catalyse the hydrolysis of phosphoinositides, this review outlines these and highlights those that have been implicated in promoting malignancy.

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Journal of lipid research, , 0022-2275, , 2015

PMID: 26302980

Speed and sensitivity of phototransduction in Drosophila depend on degree of saturation of membrane phospholipids.
Randall AS, Liu CH, Chu B, Zhang Q, Dongre SA, Juusola M, Franze K, Wakelam MJ, Hardie RC

Drosophila phototransduction is mediated via a G-protein-coupled PLC cascade. Recent evidence, including the demonstration that light evokes rapid contractions of the photoreceptors, suggested that the light-sensitive channels (TRP and TRPL) may be mechanically gated, together with protons released by PLC-mediated PIP2 hydrolysis. If mechanical gating is involved we predicted that the response to light should be influenced by altering the physical properties of the membrane. To achieve this, we used diet to manipulate the degree of saturation of membrane phospholipids. In flies reared on a yeast diet, lacking polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), mass spectrometry showed that the proportion of polyunsaturated phospholipids was sevenfold reduced (from 38 to ∼5%) but rescued by adding a single species of PUFA (linolenic or linoleic acid) to the diet. Photoreceptors from yeast-reared flies showed a 2- to 3-fold increase in latency and time to peak of the light response, without affecting quantum bump waveform. In the absence of Ca(2+) influx or in trp mutants expressing only TRPL channels, sensitivity to light was reduced up to ∼10-fold by the yeast diet, and essentially abolished in hypomorphic G-protein mutants (Gαq). PLC activity appeared little affected by the yeast diet; however, light-induced contractions measured by atomic force microscopy or the activation of ectopic mechanosensitive gramicidin channels were also slowed ∼2-fold. The results are consistent with mechanosensitive gating and provide a striking example of how dietary fatty acids can profoundly influence sensory performance in a classical G-protein-coupled signaling cascade.

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The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience, 35, 1529-2401, 2731-46, 2015

PMID: 25673862

Open Access