Nanci Frakich

University College London, London, ENG, United Kingdom

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Publications (9)53.18 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: During cell division, the activation of glycolysis is tightly regulated by the action of two ubiquitin ligases, anaphase-promoting complex/cyclosome-Cdh1 (APC/C-Cdh1) and SKP1/CUL-1/F-box protein-β-transducin repeat-containing protein (SCF-β-TrCP), which control the transient appearance and metabolic activity of the glycolysis-promoting enzyme 6-phosphofructo-2-kinase/fructose-2,6-bisphosphatase, isoform 3 (PFKFB3). We now demonstrate that the breakdown of PFKFB3 during S phase occurs specifically via a distinct residue (S(273)) within the conserved recognition site for SCF-β-TrCP. Glutaminase 1 (GLS1), the first enzyme in glutaminolysis, is also targeted for destruction by APC/C-Cdh1 and, like PFKFB3, accumulates after the activity of this ubiquitin ligase decreases in mid-to-late G1. However, our results show that GLS1 differs from PFKFB3 in that its recognition by APC/C-Cdh1 requires the presence of both a Lys-Glu-Asn box (KEN box) and a destruction box (D box) rather than a KEN box alone. Furthermore, GLS1 is not a substrate for SCF-β-TrCP and is not degraded until cells progress from S to G2/M. The presence of PFKFB3 and GLS1 coincides with increases in generation of lactate and in utilization of glutamine, respectively. The contrasting posttranslational regulation of PFKFB3 and GLS1, which we have verified by studies of ubiquitination and protein stability, suggests the different roles of glucose and glutamine at distinct stages in the cell cycle. Indeed, experiments in which synchronized cells were deprived of either of these substrates show that both glucose and glutamine are required for progression through the restriction point in mid-to-late G1, whereas glutamine is the only substrate essential for the progression through S phase into cell division.
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 11/2011; 108(52):21069-74. · 9.81 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Cell proliferation is accompanied by an increase in the utilization of glucose and glutamine. The proliferative response is dependent on a decrease in the activity of the ubiquitin ligase anaphase-promoting complex/cyclosome (APC/C)-Cdh1 which controls G1-to-S-phase transition by targeting degradation motifs, notably the KEN box. This occurs not only in cell cycle proteins but also in the glycolysis-promoting enzyme 6-phosphofructo-2-kinase/fructose-2,6-bisphosphatase isoform 3 (PFKFB3), as we have recently demonstrated in cells in culture. We now show that APC/C-Cdh1 controls the proliferative response of human T lymphocytes. Moreover, we have found that glutaminase 1 is a substrate for this ubiquitin ligase and appears at the same time as PFKFB3 in proliferating T lymphocytes. Glutaminase 1 is the first enzyme in glutaminolysis, which converts glutamine to lactate, yielding intermediates for cell proliferation. Thus APC/C-Cdh1 is responsible for the provision not only of glucose but also of glutamine and, as such, accounts for the critical step that links the cell cycle with the metabolic substrates essential for its progression.
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 10/2010; 107(44):18868-73. · 9.81 Impact Factor
  • Biochimica Et Biophysica Acta-bioenergetics - BBA-BIOENERGETICS. 01/2010; 1797:59-59.
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    ABSTRACT: For S-nitrosothiols and peroxynitrite to interfere with the activity of mitochondrial complex I, prior transition of the enzyme from its active (A) to its deactive, dormant (D) state is necessary. We now demonstrate accumulation of the D-form of complex I in human epithelial kidney cells after prolonged hypoxia. Upon reoxygenation after hypoxia there was an initial delay in the return of the respiration rate to normal. This was due to the accumulation of the D-form and its slow, substrate-dependent reconversion to the A-form. Reconversion to the A-form could be prevented by prolonged incubation with endogenously generated NO. We propose that the hypoxic transition from the A-form to the D-form of complex I may be protective, because it would act to reduce the electron burst and the formation of free radicals during reoxygenation. However, this may become an early pathophysiological event when NO-dependent formation of S-nitrosothiols or peroxynitrite structurally modifies complex I in its D-form and impedes its return to the active state. These observations provide a mechanism to account for the severe cell injury that follows hypoxia and reoxygenation when accompanied by NO generation.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 12/2009; 284(52):36055-36061. · 4.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We have developed a respiration chamber that allows intact cells to be studied under controlled oxygen (O(2)) conditions. The system measures the concentrations of O(2) and nitric oxide (NO) in the cell suspension, while the redox state of cytochrome c oxidase is continuously monitored optically. Using human embryonic kidney cells transfected with a tetracycline-inducible NO synthase we show that the inactivation of NO by cytochrome c oxidase is dependent on both O(2) concentration and electron turnover of the enzyme. At a high O(2) concentration (70 microM), and while the enzyme is in turnover, NO generated by the NO synthase upon addition of a given concentration of l-arginine is partially inactivated by cytochrome c oxidase and does not affect the redox state of the enzyme or consumption of O(2). At low O(2) (15 microM), when the cytochrome c oxidase is more reduced, inactivation of NO is decreased. In addition, the NO that is not inactivated inhibits the cytochrome c oxidase, further reducing the enzyme and lowering O(2) consumption. At both high and low O(2) concentrations the inactivation of NO is decreased when sodium azide is used to inhibit cytochrome c oxidase and decrease electron turnover.
    Biochimica et Biophysica Acta 12/2009; 1797(3):371-7. · 4.66 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: For S-nitrosothiols and peroxynitrite to interfere with the activity of mitochondrial complex I, prior transition of the enzyme from its active (A) to its deactive, dormant (D) state is necessary. We now demonstrate accumulation of the D-form of complex I in human epithelial kidney cells after prolonged hypoxia. Upon reoxygenation after hypoxia there was an initial delay in the return of the respiration rate to normal. This was due to the accumulation of the D-form and its slow, substrate-dependent reconversion to the A-form. Reconversion to the A-form could be prevented by prolonged incubation with endogenously generated NO. We propose that the hypoxic transition from the A-form to the D-form of complex I may be protective, because it would act to reduce the electron burst and the formation of free radicals during reoxygenation. However, this may become an early pathophysiological event when NO-dependent formation of S-nitrosothiols or peroxynitrite structurally modifies complex I in its D-form and impedes its return to the active state. These observations provide a mechanism to account for the severe cell injury that follows hypoxia and reoxygenation when accompanied by NO generation.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 10/2009; 284(52):36055-61. · 4.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: One of the many routes proposed for the cellular inactivation of endogenous nitric oxide (NO) is by the cytochrome c oxidase of the mitochondrial respiratory chain. We have studied this possibility in human embryonic kidney cells engineered to generate controlled amounts of NO. We have used visible light spectroscopy to monitor continuously the redox state of cytochrome c oxidase in an oxygen-tight chamber, at the same time as which we measure cell respiration and the concentrations of oxygen and NO. Pharmacological manipulation of cytochrome c oxidase indicates that this enzyme, when it is in turnover and in its oxidized state, inactivates physiological amounts of NO, thus regulating its intra- and extracellular concentrations. This inactivation is prevented by blocking the enzyme with inhibitors, including NO. Furthermore, when cells generating low concentrations of NO respire toward hypoxia, the redox state of cytochrome c oxidase changes from oxidized to reduced, leading to a decrease in NO inactivation. The resultant increase in NO concentration could explain hypoxic vasodilation.
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 12/2007; 104(47):18508-13. · 9.81 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Telomerase, a reverse transcriptase involved in the maintenance of telomere function and cellular replicative capacity, is thought to be regulated by nitric oxide (NO). Here, we have used pharmacological tools and RNA interference to re-assess the role of NO in the regulation of telomerase and senescence of human umbilical vein endothelial cells. Acute or chronic treatment of these cells with the NO donors diethylenetriamine/NO (DETA-NO) or S-nitroso-N-acetylpenicillamine (SNAP) at concentrations which generated NO in the 1-300 nM range did not modulate telomerase activity. Similarly these agents did not affect cellular replicative capacity during long-term sub-cultivation. The NO synthase (NOS) inhibitor N(G)-monomethyl-L-arginine (1 mM) reduced basal levels of c-GMP by 50% but had no effect on telomerase activity or replicative capacity. Withdrawal of ascorbic acid increased the intracellular pro-oxidant capacity, reduced telomerase activity and increased the accumulation of senescent cells upon serial passage in culture. However, this shift to a more oxidative redox state did not unmask the putative capacity of NO to modulate telomerase or senescence. Infection of cells with a lentiviral vector expressing a small hairpin RNA targeted against endothelial NOS inhibited endogenous NO production completely but failed to affect the decrease of telomerase activity or the accumulation of senescent cells observed with passage in culture. Our findings suggest that physiological concentrations of NO do not modulate telomerase levels or replicative capacity of endothelial cells, regardless of their cellular oxidative status.
    Experimental Gerontology 10/2007; 42(9):904-10. · 3.91 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Nitric oxide (NO), generated endogenously in NO-synthase-transfected cells, increases the reduction of mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase (CcO) at O2 concentrations ([O2]) above those at which it inhibits cell respiration. Thus, in cells respiring to anoxia, the addition of 2.5 microM L-arginine at 70 microM O2 resulted in reduction of CcO and inhibition of respiration at [O2] of 64.0+/-0.8 and 24.8+/-0.8 microM, respectively. This separation of the two effects of NO is related to electron turnover of the enzyme, because the addition of electron donors resulted in inhibition of respiration at progressively higher [O2], and to their eventual convergence. Our results indicate that partial inhibition of CcO by NO leads to an accumulation of reduced cytochrome c and, consequently, to an increase in electron flux through the enzyme population not inhibited by NO. Thus, respiration is maintained without compromising the bioenergetic status of the cell. We suggest that this is a physiological mechanism regulated by the flux of electrons in the mitochondria and by the changing ratio of O2:NO, either during hypoxia or, as a consequence of increases in NO, as a result of cell stress.
    Journal of Cell Science 02/2007; 120(Pt 1):160-5. · 5.88 Impact Factor