Alternative Mitochondrial Fuel Extends Life Span

Departments of Pathology and Genetics, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT 06520-8023, USA.
Cell metabolism (Impact Factor: 17.57). 04/2012; 15(4):417-8. DOI: 10.1016/j.cmet.2012.03.011
Source: PubMed


In this issue of Cell Metabolism, Ristow and colleagues (Zarse et al., 2012) elucidate a conserved mechanism through which reduced insulin-IGF1 signaling activates an AMP-kinase-driven metabolic shift toward oxidative proline metabolism. This, in turn, produces an adaptive mitochondrial ROS signal that extends worm life span. These findings further bolster the concept of mitohormesis as a critical component of conserved aging and longevity pathways.

  • Source
    • "As mentioned above, ROS have been associated with cellular damage. However, diverse studies have challenged the concept of ROS as simply detrimental; instead, they have been proposed as second messengers that trigger a program of transcriptional and metabolic shifts that initiate an adaptive ROS signaling response to attenuate the adverse effects of oxidative stress [92, 93]. Positive effects of ROS have been detected in both humans and C. elegans. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Caenorhabditis elegans is a powerful model organism that is invaluable for experimental research because it can be used to recapitulate most human diseases at either the metabolic or genomic level in vivo. This organism contains many key components related to metabolic and oxidative stress networks that could conceivably allow us to increase and integrate information to understand the causes and mechanisms of complex diseases. Oxidative stress is an etiological factor that influences numerous human diseases, including diabetes. C. elegans displays remarkably similar molecular bases and cellular pathways to those of mammals. Defects in the insulin/insulin-like growth factor-1 signaling pathway or increased ROS levels induce the conserved phase II detoxification response via the SKN-1 pathway to fight against oxidative stress. However, it is noteworthy that, aside from the detrimental effects of ROS, they have been proposed as second messengers that trigger the mitohormetic response to attenuate the adverse effects of oxidative stress. Herein, we briefly describe the importance of C. elegans as an experimental model system for studying metabolic disorders related to oxidative stress and the molecular mechanisms that underlie their pathophysiology.
    Full-text · Article · May 2014 · Oxidative medicine and cellular longevity
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Recent research suggests that chromatin-modifying enzymes are metabolic sensors regulating gene expression. Epigenetics is linked to metabolomics in response to the cellular microenvironment. Specific metabolites involved in this sensing mechanism include S-adenosylmethionine, acetyl-CoA, alphaketoglutarate and NAD (+) . Although the core metabolic pathways involving glucose have been emphasized as the source of these metabolites, the reprogramming of pathways involving non-essential amino acids may also play an important role, especially in cancer. Examples include metabolic pathways for glutamine, serine and glycine. The coupling of these pathways to the intermediates affecting epigenetic regulation occurs by "parametabolic" mechanisms. The metabolism of proline may play a special role in this parametabolic linkage between metabolism and epigenetics. Both proline degradation and biosynthesis are robustly affected by oncogenes or suppressor genes, and they can modulate intermediates involved in epigenetic regulation. A number of mechanisms in a variety of animal species have been described by our laboratory and by others. The challenge we now face is to identify the specific chromatin-modifying enzymes involved in coupling of proline metabolism to altered reprogramming of gene expression.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2013 · Epigenetics: official journal of the DNA Methylation Society
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: L-Proline (pyrrolidine-2-carboxylic acid) is a distinctive metabolite both biochemically and biotechnologically and is currently recognized to have a cardinal role in gene expression and cellular signaling pathways in stress response. Proline-fueled mitochondrial metabolism involves the oxidative conversion of L-Proline to L-Glutamate in two enzymatic steps by means of Put1p and Put2p that help Saccharomyces cerevisiae to respond to changes in the nutritional environment by initiating the breakdown of L-Proline as a source for nitrogen, carbon, and energy. Compartmentalization of L-Proline catabolic pathway implies that extensive L-Proline transport must take place between the cytosol where its biogenesis via Pro1p, Pro2p, Pro3p occurs and mitochondria. L-Proline uptake in S. cerevisiae purified and active mitochondria was investigated by swelling experiments, oxygen uptake and fluorimetric measurement of a membrane potential generation (ΔΨ). Our results strongly suggest that L-Proline uptake occurs via a carried-mediated process as demonstrated by saturation kinetics and experiments with N-ethylmaleimide, a pharmacological compound that is a cysteine-modifying reagent in hydrophobic protein domains and that inhibited mitochondrial transport. Plasticity of S. cerevisiae cell biochemistry according to background fluctuations is an important factor of adaptation to stress. Thus L-Proline → Glutamate route feeds Krebs cycle providing energy and anaplerotic carbon for yeast survival.
    No preview · Article · Jul 2013 · World Journal of Microbiology and Biotechnology (Formerly MIRCEN Journal of Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology)
Show more