Emma Saavedra

Instituto Nacional de Cardiología, Ciudad de México, The Federal District, Mexico

Are you Emma Saavedra?

Claim your profile

Publications (58)

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background: Exceedingly high therapeutic/experimental doses of metabolic drugs such as oxamate, aminooxyacetate (AOA) and dichloroacetate (DCA) are required to diminish growth, glycolysis and oxidative phosphorylation (OxPhos) of different cancer cells. To identify the mechanisms of action of these drugs on cancer energy metabolism, a systematic analysis of their specificities was undertaken. Methods: Hepatocarcinoma AS-30D cells were treated with the inhibitors and glycolysis and OxPhos enzyme activities, metabolites and fluxes were analyzed. Kinetic modeling of glycolysis was used to identify the regulatory mechanisms. Results: Oxamate (i) not only inhibited LDH, but also PYK and ENO activities inducing an increase in the cytosolic NAD(P)H, Fru1,6BP and DHAP levels in AS-30D cells; (ii) it slightly inhibited HPI, ALD and Glc6PDH; and (iii) it inhibited pyruvate-driven OxPhos in isolated heart mitochondria. AOA (i) strongly inhibited both AAT and AlaT, and 2-OGDH and glutamate-driven OxPhos; and (ii) moderately affected GAPDH and TPI. DCA slightly affected pyruvate-driven OxPhos and Glc6PDH. Kinetic modeling of cancer glycolysis revealed that oxamate inhibition of LDH, PYK and ENO was insufficient to achieve glycolysis flux inhibition. To do so, HK, HPI, TPI and GAPDH have to be also inhibited by the accumulated Fru1,6BP and DHAP induced by oxamate. Conclusion: Oxamate, AOA, and DCA are not specific drugs since they inhibit several enzymes/transporters of the glycolytic and OxPhos pathways through direct interaction or indirect mechanisms. General significance: These data explain why oxamate or AOA, through their multisite inhibitory actions on glycolysis or OxPhos, may be able to decrease the proliferation of cancer cells.
    Article · Aug 2016 · Biochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA) - General Subjects
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Gluconeogenesis is an essential pathway in methanogens because they are unable to use exogenous hexoses as carbon source for cell growth. Here, to understand the regulatory mechanisms of the central carbon metabolism in Methanosarcina acetivorans, gene expression, activities and metabolic regulation of key enzymes, metabolite contents and fluxes of gluconeogenesis, glycolysis and glycogen synthesis/ degradation pathways, were determined. Cells were grown with methanol as carbon source. Key enzymes were kinetically characterized at physiological pH/temperature. Active consumption of methanol, during the exponential cell growth, correlated with significant methanogenesis, gluconeogenic flux and steady glycogen synthesis. After methanol exhaustion, cells reached the stationary growth phase, which correlated with the rise in glycogen consumption and glycolytic flux, decreased methanogenesis, negligible acetate production and absence of gluconeogenesis. Elevated activities of CODH/ACS and PFOR suggested generation of acetyl-CoA and pyruvate for glycogen synthesis. In the early stationary growth phase, the transcript contents and activities of pyruvate phosphate dikinase, fructose-1,6-bisphosphatase and glycogen synthase decreased, whereas those of glycogen phosphorylase, ADP-phosphofructokinase and pyruvate kinase increased. Therefore, glycogen and gluconeogenic metabolites were synthesized when an external carbon source was provided. Once such carbon source became depleted, glycolysis and methanogenesis fed by glycogen degradation provided the ATP supply. Weak inhibition of key enzymes by metabolites suggested that the pathways evaluated were mainly transcriptionally regulated. Because glycogen metabolism and glycolysis/gluconeogenesis are not present in all methanogens, the overall data suggested that glycogen storage might represent an environmental advantage for methanosarcinales when carbon sources are scarce. Also, the understanding of the central carbohydrate metabolism in methanosarcinales may help to optimize methane production. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
    Full-text Article · Mar 2016 · FEBS Journal
  • Erika Pineda · Citlali Vázquez · Rusely Encalada · [...] · Emma Saavedra
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background: Acetate is an end-product of the PPi-dependent fermentative glycolysis in Entamoeba histolytica; it is synthesized from acetyl-CoA by ADP-forming acetyl-CoA synthetase (ACS) with net ATP synthesis or from acetyl-phosphate by a unique PPi-forming acetate kinase (AcK). The relevance of these enzymes to the parasite ATP and PPi supply, respectively, are analyzed here. Methods: The recombinant enzymes were kinetically characterized and their physiological roles were analyzed by transcriptional gene silencing and further metabolic analyses in amoebae. Results: Recombinant ACS showed higher catalytic efficiencies (Vmax/Km) for acetate formation than for acetyl-CoA formation and high acetyl-CoA levels were found in trophozoites. Gradual ACS gene silencing (49-93%) significantly decreased the acetate flux without affecting the levels of glycolytic metabolites and ATP in trophozoites. However, amoebae lacking ACS activity were unable to reestablish the acetyl-CoA/CoA ratio after an oxidative stress challenge. Recombinant AcK showed activity only in the acetate formation direction; however, its substrate acetyl-phosphate was undetected in axenic parasites. AcK gene silencing did not affect acetate production in the parasites but promoted a slight decrease (10-20%) in the hexose phosphates and PPi levels. Conclusions: These results indicated that the main role of ACS in the parasite energy metabolism is not ATP production but to recycle CoA for glycolysis to proceed under aerobic conditions. AcK does not contribute to acetate production but might be marginally involved in PPi and hexosephosphate homeostasis. Significance: The previous, long-standing hypothesis that these enzymes importantly contribute to ATP and PPi supply in amoebae can now be ruled out.
    Article · Feb 2016 · Biochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA) - General Subjects
  • Alfonso Olivos-García · Emma Saavedra · Mario Nequiz · [...] · Ruy Pérez-Tamayo
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Several species belonging to the genus Entamoeba can colonize the mouth or the human gut; however, only Entamoeba histolytica is pathogenic to the host, causing the disease amoebiasis. This illness is responsible for one hundred thousand human deaths per year worldwide, affecting mainly underdeveloped countries. Throughout its entire life cycle and invasion of human tissues, the parasite is constantly subjected to stress conditions. Under in vitro culture, this microaerophilic parasite can tolerate up to 5 % oxygen concentrations; however, during tissue invasion the parasite has to cope with the higher oxygen content found in well-perfused tissues (4-14 %) and with reactive oxygen and nitrogen species derived from both host and parasite. In this work, the role of the amoebic oxygen reduction pathway (ORP) and heat shock response (HSP) are analyzed in relation to E. histolytica pathogenicity. The data suggest that in contrast with non-pathogenic E. dispar, the higher level of ORP and HSPs displayed by E. histolytica enables its survival in tissues by diminishing and detoxifying intracellular oxidants and repairing damaged proteins to allow metabolic fluxes, replication and immune evasion.
    Article · Nov 2015 · Current Genetics
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The role of p53 as modulator of OxPhos and glycolysis was analyzed in HeLa-L (cells containing negligible p53 protein levels) and HeLa-H (p53-overexpressing) human cervix cancer cells under normoxia and hypoxia. In normoxia, functional p53, mitochondrial enzyme contents, mitochondrial electrical potential (ΔΨm) and OxPhos flux increased in HeLa-H vs. HeLa-L cells; whereas their glycolytic enzyme contents and glycolysis flux were unchanged. OxPhos provided more than 70% of the cellular ATP and proliferation was abolished by anti-mitochondrial drugs in HeLa-H cells. In hypoxia, both cell proliferations were suppressed, but HeLa-H cells exhibited a significant decrease in OxPhos protein contents, ΔΨm and OxPhos flux. Although glycolytic function was also diminished vs. HeLa-L cells in hypoxia, glycolysis provided more than 60% of cellular ATP in HeLa-H cells. The energy metabolism phenotype of HeLa-H cells was reverted to that of HeLa-L cells by incubating with pifithrin-α, a p53-inhibitor. In normoxia, the energy metabolism phenotype of breast cancer MCF-7 cells was similar to that of HeLa-H cells, whereas p53shRNAMCF-7 cells resembled the HeLa-L cell phenotype. In hypoxia, autophagy proteins and lysosomes contents increased 2-5 times in HeLa-H cells suggesting mitophagy activation. These results indicated that under normoxia p53 up-regulated OxPhos without affecting glycolysis, whereas under hypoxia, p53 down-regulated both OxPhos (severely) and glycolysis (weakly). These p53 effects appeared mediated by the formation of p53-HIF-1α complexes. Therefore, p53 exerts a dual and contrasting regulatory role on cancer energy metabolism, depending on the O2 level.
    Full-text Article · Oct 2015 · Biochimica et Biophysica Acta
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Efforts to understand the mechanistic principles driving cancer metabolism and proliferation have been lately governed by genomic, transcriptomic and proteomic studies. This paper analyzes the caveats of these approaches. As the molecular biology's central dogma proposes a unidirectional flux of information from genes to mRNA to proteins, it has been frequently assumed that monitoring the changes in the gene sequences and in mRNA and protein contents, is sufficient to explain complex cellular processes. Such a stance commonly disregards that posttranslational modifications can alter the protein function/activity and also that regulatory mechanisms enter in action, to coordinate the protein activities of pathways/cellular processes, in order to keep the cellular homeostasis. Hence, the actual protein activities (as enzymes/transporters/receptors) and their regulatory mechanisms ultimately dictate the final outcomes of a pathway/cellular process. In this regard, it is here documented that the mRNA levels of many metabolic enzymes and transcriptional factors have no correlation with the respective protein contents and activities. The validity of current clinical mRNA-based tests and proposed metabolite biomarkers for cancer detection/prognosis is also discussed. Therefore, it is proposed that to achieve a thorough understanding of the modifications undergone by proliferating cancer cells, it is mandatory to experimentally analyze the cellular processes at the functional level. This could be achieved (i) locally, by examining the actual protein activities in the cell and their kinetic properties (or at least kinetically characterize the most controlling steps of the pathway/cellular process). (ii) Systemically, by analyzing the main fluxes of the pathway/cellular process, and how they are modulated by metabolites, all which should contribute to comprehend the regulatory mechanisms that have been altered in cancer cells. By adopting a more holistic approach it may become possible to improve the design of therapeutic strategies that would target cancer cells more specifically. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
    Full-text Article · Sep 2015 · FEBS Journal
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The control of Giardia duodenalis infections is carried out mainly by drugs, among these albendazole (ABZ) is commonly used. Although the cytotoxic effect of ABZ usually involves binding to β-tubulin, it has been suggested that oxidative stress may also play a role in its parasiticidal mechanism. In this work the effect of ABZ in Giardia clones that are susceptible or resistant to different concentrations (1.35, 8, and 250 μM) of this drug was analyzed. Reactive oxygen species (ROS) were induced by ABZ in susceptible clones and this was associated with a decrease in growth that was alleviated by cysteine supplementation. Remarkably, ABZ-resistant clones exhibited partial cross-resistance to H 2 O 2, whereas a Giardia H 2 O 2-resistant strain can grow in the presence of ABZ. Lipid oxidation and protein carbonylation in ABZ-treated parasites did not show significant differences as compared to untreated parasites; however, ABZ induced the formation of 8OHdG adducts and DNA degradation, indicating nucleic acid oxidative damage. This was supported by observations of histone H2AX phosphorylation in ABZ-susceptible trophozoites treated with 250 μM ABZ. Flow cytometry analysis showed that ABZ partially arrested cell cycle in drug-susceptible clones at G2/M phase at the expense of cells in G1 phase. Also, ABZ treatment resulted in phosphatidylserine exposure on the parasite surface, an event related to apoptosis. All together these data suggest that ROS induced by ABZ affect Giardia genetic material through oxidative stress mechanisms and subsequent induction of apoptotic-like events.
    Full-text Article · Aug 2015 · Frontiers in Microbiology
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The facultative protist Euglena gracilis, a heavy metal hyper-accumulator, was grown under photo-heterotrophic and extreme conditions (acidic pH, anaerobiosis and with Cd(2+)) and biochemically characterized. High biomass (8.5×10(6)cellsmL(-1)) was reached after 10 days of culture. Under anaerobiosis, photosynthetic activity built up a microaerophilic environment of 0.7% O2, which was sufficient to allow mitochondrial respiratory activity: glutamate and malate were fully consumed, whereas 25-33% of the added glucose was consumed. In anaerobic cells, photosynthesis but not respiration was activated by Cd(2+) which induced higher oxidative stress. Malondialdehyde (MDA) levels were 20 times lower in control cells under anaerobiosis than in aerobiosis, although Cd(2+) induced a higher MDA production. Cd(2+) stress induced increased contents of chelating thiols (cysteine, glutathione and phytochelatins) and polyphosphate. Biosorption (90%) and intracellular accumulation (30%) were the mechanisms by which anaerobic cells removed Cd(2+) from medium, which was 36% higher versus aerobic cells. The present study indicated that E. gracilis has the ability to remove Cd(2+) under anaerobic conditions, which might be advantageous for metal removal in sediments from polluted water bodies or bioreactors, where the O2 concentration is particularly low. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
    Full-text Article · May 2015 · Journal of Hazardous Materials
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Methanosarcina acetivorans, considered a strict anaerobic archaeon, was cultured in the presence of 0.4-1% O2 (atmospheric) for at least 6 months to generate air-adapted cells; further, the biochemical mechanisms developed to deal with O2 were characterized. Methane production and protein content, as indicators of cell growth, did not change in air-adapted cells respect to cells cultured under anoxia (control cells). In contrast, growth and methane production significantly decreased in control cells exposed for the first time to O2. Production of reactive oxygen species was 50 times lower in air-adapted cells versus control cells, suggesting enhanced anti-oxidant mechanisms that attenuated the O2 toxicity. In this regard, (i) the transcripts and activities of superoxide dismutase, catalase and peroxidase significantly increased; and (ii) the thiol-molecules (cysteine + coenzyme M-SH + sulfide) and polyphosphate contents were respectively 2 and 5 times higher in air-adapted cells versus anaerobic-control cells. Long-term cultures (18 days) of air-adapted cells exposed to 2% O2 exhibited the ability to form biofilms. These data indicate that M. acetivorans develops multiple mechanisms to contend with O2 and the associated oxidative stress, as also suggested by genome analyses for some methanogens.
    Full-text Article · Feb 2015 · PLoS ONE
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Adhesion to cells, cytotoxicity and proteolysis are functions required for virulence and pathogenicity of Entamoeba histolytica. However, there was no correlation between these in vitro functions and the early elimination of non-pathogenic E. dispar and non-virulent E. histolytica (nvEh) in experimental amoebic liver abscesses developed in hamsters. Thus, additional functions may be involved in amoebic pathogenicity and virulence. In the present study, an integral experimental assessment, including innovative technologies for analyses of amoebal pathophysiology, cell biology, biochemistry and transcriptomics, was carried out to elucidate whether other cellular processes are involved in amoebal pathogenicity and virulence. In comparison with virulent E. histolytica, the data indicated that the main reasons for the early clearance of nvEh from hamster liver are decreased intracellular H2O2 detoxification rate and deficient heat-shock protein expression, whereas for E. dispar, it is a relatively lower capacity for O2 reduction. Therefore, maintenance of an intracellular hypoxic environment combined with the induction of an adequate parasite response to oxidative stress are essential requirements for Entamoeba survival in the liver, and therefore for pathogenicity. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
    Article · Jan 2015 · Cellular Microbiology
  • Erika Pineda · Rusely Encalada · Citlali Vázquez · [...] · Emma Saavedra
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Entamoeba histolytica lacks the genes encoding the enzymes of the Krebs cycle and oxidative phosphorylation; therefore, glycolysis is the main pathway for ATP supply and for providing carbon skeleton precursors for the synthesis of macromolecules. External glucose is metabolized through a fermentative glycolysis producing mainly ethanol and, to a lower extent, acetate as end products. The pathway in the parasite deviates in several aspects from the typical glycolysis present in mammals and yeasts, for instance, (1) the use of pyrophosphate as high- energy phosphate donor in several reactions; (2) the feasibility of thermodynamic reversibility of all pathway reactions under physiological conditions; and (3) the presence of fermentative enzymes similar to those of anaerobic bacteria. These and other enzyme peculiarities impose different mechanisms of control of the glycolytic fermentative flux in the parasite compared to the highly allosterically regulated glycolysis in other eukaryotic cells. In this chapter, we summarize the previous and current knowledge of the carbohydrate metabolism in E. histolytica and analyze its underlying controlling mechanisms by applying the fundamentals of metabolic control analysis (MCA).
    Article · Jan 2015
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The principal oxidative-stress defense in the human parasite Trypanosoma cruzi is the tryparedoxin-dependent peroxide detoxification pathway, constituted by trypanothione reductase (TryR), tryparedoxin (TXN), tryparedoxin peroxidase (TXNPx) and tryparedoxin-dependent glutathione peroxidase A (GPxA). Here, Metabolic Control Analysis (MCA) was applied to quantitatively prioritize drug target(s) within the pathway by identifying its flux-controlling enzymes.Methods The recombinant enzymes were kinetically characterized at physiological pH/temperature. Further, the pathway was in vitro reconstituted using enzyme activity ratios and fluxes similar to those observed in the parasites; then, enzyme and substrate titrations were performed to determine their degree of control on flux. Also, kinetic characterization of the whole pathway was performed.ResultsAnalyses of the kinetic properties indicated that TXN is the less efficient pathway enzyme derived from its high Kmapp for trypanothione and low Vmax values within the cell. MCA established that the TXN–TXNPx and TXN–GPxA redox pairs controlled by 90–100% the pathway flux, whereas 10% control was attained by TryR. The Kmapp values of the complete pathway for substrates suggested that the pathway flux was determined by the peroxide availability, whereas at high peroxide concentrations, flux may be limited by NADPH.Conclusion These quantitative kinetic and metabolic analyses pointed out to TXN as a convenient drug target due to its low catalytic efficiency, high control on the flux of peroxide detoxification and role as provider of reducing equivalents to the two main peroxidases in the parasite.General SignificanceMCA studies provide rational and quantitative criteria to select enzymes for drug-target development.
    Article · Oct 2014 · Biochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA) - General Subjects
  • Erika Pineda · Rusely Encalada · Citlali Vázquez · [...] · Emma Saavedra
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The steps that control the Entamoeba histolytica glycolytic flux were here identified by elasticity analysis, an experimental approach of Metabolic Control Analysis. The concentrations of glycolytic metabolites were gradually varied in live trophozoites by (i) feeding with different glucose concentrations and (ii) inhibiting the final pathway steps; in parallel, the changes in the pathway flux were determined. From the metabolite concentration-flux relationship, the elasticity coefficients of individual or groups of pathway reactions were determined and used to calculate their respective degrees of control on the glycolytic flux (flux control coefficients). The results indicated that the pathway flux was mainly controlled (72-86%) by the glucose transport/ hexokinase/glycogen degradation group of reactions, and by the bifunctional aldehyde-alcohol dehydrogenase (ADHE; 18%). Further, inhibition of the first pathway reactions with 2-deoxyglucose (2DOG) decreased the glycolytic flux and ATP content by 75% and 50%, respectively. Cell viability was also decreased by 2DOG (25%) and more potently by 2DOG plus the ADHE inhibitor disulfiram (50%). Biosate as an alternative carbon (amino acid) source was unable to replace glucose for ATP supply, which indicated that glucose was the main nutrient for amebal ATP synthesis and survival. These results indicated that glycolysis in the parasite is mainly controlled by the initial pathway reactions and that their inhibition can decrease the parasite energy load and survival.This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
    Article · Oct 2014 · FEBS Journal
  • Article · Jul 2014 · Biochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA) - Bioenergetics
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Unlabelled: The effect of hypoglycemia on the contents of glycolytic proteins, activities of enzymes/transporters and flux of HeLa and MCF-7 tumor cells was experimentally analyzed and modeled in silico. After 24 h hypoglycemia (2.5 mm initial glucose), significant increases in the protein levels of glucose transporters 1 and 3 (GLUT 1 and 3) (3.4 and 2.1-fold, respectively) and hexokinase I (HKI) (2.3-fold) were observed compared to the hyperglycemic standard cell culture condition (25 mm initial glucose). However, these changes did not bring about a significant increase in the total activities (Vmax ) of GLUT and HK; instead, the affinity of these proteins for glucose increased, which may explain the twofold increased glycolytic flux under hypoglycemia. Thus, an increase in more catalytically efficient isoforms for two of the main controlling steps was sufficient to induce increased flux. Further, a previous kinetic model of tumor glycolysis was updated by including the ratios of GLUT and HK isoforms, modified pyruvate kinase kinetics and an oxidative phosphorylation reaction. The updated model was robust in terms of simulating most of the metabolite levels and fluxes of the cells exposed to various glycemic conditions. Model simulations indicated that the main controlling steps were glycogen degradation > HK > hexosephosphate isomerase under hyper- and normoglycemia, and GLUT > HK > glycogen degradation under hypoglycemia. These predictions were experimentally evaluated: the glycolytic flux of hypoglycemic cells was more sensitive to cytochalasin B (a GLUT inhibitor) than that of hyperglycemic cells. The results indicated that cancer glycolysis should be inhibited at multiple controlling sites, regardless of external glucose levels, to effectively block the pathway. Database: The mathematical models described here have been submitted to the JWS Online Cellular Systems Modelling Database and can be accessed at http://jjj.mib.ac.uk/database/achcar/index.html. [Database section added 21 July 2014 after original online publication].
    Article · Jun 2014 · FEBS Journal
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Applying basic biochemical principles, this review analyzes data that contrasts with the Warburg hypothesis that glycolysis is the exclusive ATP provider in cancer cells. Although disregarded for many years, there is increasing experimental evidence demonstrating that oxidative phosphorylation (OxPhos) makes a significant contribution to ATP supply in many cancer cell types and under a variety of conditions. Substrates oxidized by normal mitochondria such as amino acids and fatty acids are also avidly consumed by cancer cells. In this regard, the proposal that cancer cells metabolize glutamine for anabolic purposes without the need for a functional respiratory chain and OxPhos is analyzed considering thermodynamic and kinetic aspects for the reductive carboxylation of 2-oxoglutarate catalyzed by isocitrate dehydrogenase. In addition, metabolic control analysis (MCA) studies applied to energy metabolism of cancer cells are reevaluated. Regardless of the experimental/environmental conditions and the rate of lactate production, the flux-control of cancer glycolysis is robust in the sense that it involves the same steps: glucose transport, hexokinase, hexosephosphate isomerase and glycogen degradation, all at the beginning of the pathway; these steps together with phosphofructokinase 1 control glycolysis in normal cells. The respiratory chain complexes exert significantly higher flux-control on OxPhos in cancer cells than in normal cells. Thus, determination of the contribution of each pathway to ATP supply and/or the flux-control distribution of both pathways in cancer cells is necessary in order to identify differences from normal cells which may lead to the design of rational alternative therapies that selectively target cancer energy metabolism.
    Article · May 2014 · The international journal of biochemistry & cell biology
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The phytochelatin synthase from photosynthetic Euglena gracilis (EgPCS) was analyzed at the transcriptional, kinetic, functional, and phylogenetic levels. Recombinant EgPCS was a monomeric enzyme able to synthesize, in the presence of Zn(2+) or Cd(2+), phytochelatin2-phytochelatin4 (PC2-PC4) using GSH or S-methyl-GS (S-methyl-glutathione), but not γ-glutamylcysteine or PC2 as a substrate. Kinetic analysis of EgPCS firmly established a two-substrate reaction mechanism for PC2 synthesis with Km values of 14-22 mM for GSH and 1.6-2.5 μM for metal-bis-glutathionate (Me-GS2). EgPCS showed the highest Vmax and catalytic efficiency with Zn-(GS)2, and was inactivated by peroxides. The EgPCS N-terminal domain showed high similarity to that of other PCSases, in which the typical catalytic core (Cys-70, His-179 and Asp-197) was identified. In contrast, the C-terminal domain showed no similarity to other PCSases. An EgPCS mutant comprising only the N-terminal 235 amino acid residues was inactive, suggesting that the C-terminal domain is essential for activity/stability. EgPCS transcription in Euglena cells was not modified by Cd(2+), whereas its heterologous expression in ycf-1 yeast cells provided resistance to Cd(2+) stress. Phylogenetic analysis of the N-terminal domain showed that EgPCS is distant from plants and other photosynthetic organisms, suggesting that it evolved independently. Although EgPCS showed typical features of PCSases (constitutive expression; conserved N-terminal domain; kinetic mechanism), it also exhibited distinct characteristics such as preference for Zn-(GS)2 over Cd-(GS)2 as a co-substrate, a monomeric structure, and ability to solely synthesize short-chain PCs, which may be involved in conferring enhanced heavy-metal resistance.
    Full-text Article · Jan 2014 · Metallomics
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Application of Systems Biology approaches to energy metabolism of cancer cells help in the understanding of their controlling and regulatory mechanisms and identification of new drug targets. Our group built and validated a kinetic model of tumor glycolysis based on the experimental determination of all the enzyme/transporter kinetic parameters, metabolite concentrations, and fluxes in tumor cells. Model predictions enabled to understand how glycolysis is controlled and allowed identification of the main controlling steps which can be the most promising therapeutic targets. In this chapter, the model was extended to determine the contribution on the pathway function of the expression of different glycolytic isoforms displaying different catalytic properties, a feature commonly observed in tumor cells subjected to hypoxia. Model predictions now indicated that, by fully changing the glucose transporter (GLUT), hexokinase (HK), or both, from low- to high affinity isoforms, the glycolytic flux can be increased (GLUT+HK>GLUT>>HK); however, this concurred with a marked deregulation of the adenine nucleotides concentration. To gradually increase glycolytic flux with no alteration of adenine nucleotides homeostasis, which is closer to the physiological response of tumor cells, the model indicated that simultaneous expression in different ratios of GLUT and HK isoforms with different affinities should be accomplished. Mitochondrial metabolism is also active and essential for cancer cells. Therefore, a cancer energy metabolism model, including glycolysis and oxidative phosphorylation (Krebs cycle, respiratory chain, Pi/ADP transport, ATP synthase), should identify the most appropriate sites for successful multi-target therapies.
    Chapter · Jan 2014
  • Source
    Full-text Dataset · Sep 2013
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To determine the extent to which the supply of the precursor 2-oxoglutarate (2-OG) controls the synthesis of lysine in Saccharomyces cerevisiae growing exponentially in high glucose, top-down elasticity analysis was used. Three groups of reactions linked by 2-OG were defined. The 2-OG supply group comprised all metabolic steps leading to its formation, and the two 2-OG consumer groups comprised the enzymes and transporters involved in 2-OG transformation into lysine and glutamate and their further utilization for protein synthesis and storage. Various 2-OG steady-state concentrations that produced different fluxes to lysine and glutamate were attained using yeast mutants with increasing activities of Krebs cycle enzymes and decreased activities of Lys synthesis enzymes. The elasticity coefficients of the three enzyme groups were determined from the dependence of the amino acid fluxes on the 2-OG concentration. The respective degrees of control on the flux towards lysine (flux control coefficients) were determined from their elasticities, and were 1.1, 0.41 and -0.52 for the 2-OG producer group and the Lys and Glu branches, respectively. Thus, the predominant control exerted by the 2-OG supply on the rate of lysine synthesis suggests that over-expression of 2-OG producer enzymes may be a highly effective strategy to enhance Lys production.
    Article · Aug 2013 · FEBS Journal