Inverse Data-Driven Modeling and Multiomics Analysis Reveals Phgdh as a Metabolic Checkpoint of Macrophage Polarization and Proliferation.
ABSTRACT: Mechanistic or mammalian target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1) is an important regulator of effector functions, proliferation, and cellular metabolism in macrophages. The biochemical processes that are controlled by mTORC1 are still being defined. Here, we demonstrate that integrative multiomics in conjunction with a data-driven inverse modeling approach, termed COVRECON, identifies a biochemical node that influences overall metabolic profiles and reactions of mTORC1-dependent macrophage metabolism. Using a combined approach of metabolomics, proteomics, mRNA expression analysis, and enzymatic activity measurements, we demonstrate that Tsc2, a negative regulator of mTORC1 signaling, critically influences the cellular activity of macrophages by regulating the enzyme phosphoglycerate dehydrogenase (Phgdh) in an mTORC1-dependent manner. More generally, while lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-stimulated macrophages repress Phgdh activity, IL-4-stimulated macrophages increase the activity of the enzyme required for the expression of key anti-inflammatory molecules and macrophage proliferation. Thus, we identify Phgdh as a metabolic checkpoint of M2 macrophages.
Project description:Activation of immune cells is accompanied by a metabolic reconfiguration of their cellular energy metabolism including shifts in glycolysis and mitochondrial respiration that critically regulate functional effector responses. However, while current mass spectrometry strategies identify overall or flux-dependent metabolite profiles of cells or tissues, they fail to comprehensively identify the checkpoint nodes and enzymes that are responsible for different metabolic outputs. Here, we demonstrate that a data-driven inverse modelling approach from mass spectrometry metabolomics data can be used to identify a causal biochemical node that influence overall metabolic profiles and reactions. In our study we applied this strategy to TSC2/mTORC1-dependent macrophage polarization. Using multiomics metabolomics, proteomics and transcriptomics analysis as well as enzymatic activity measurements we demonstrate that TSC2, a negative regulator of mTORC1 signaling, critically influences the cellular metabolism of macrophages by regulating the enzyme phosphoglycerate dehydrogenase (PHGDH), a rate-limiting enzyme that diverts carbon from glycolysis for de novo serine/glycine biosynthesis. This is the first evidence that the metabolic kinase mTORC1 positively regulates PHGDH activity in macrophages. Importantly, PHGDH itself is a central regulator of macrophage polarization. Anti-inflammatory (M2) macrophages have high PHGDH activity that is required for the expression of typical anti-inflammatory molecules. Inhibition of PHGDH activity suppressed marker genes in IL-4 stimulated M2 macrophages. This identifies PHGDH as a metabolic signature of M2 macrophages. The presented concept of data-driven inverse modelling and multiomics analysis allows for the systematic integration of genome-scale metabolic reconstruction, prediction and analysis of causal biochemical regulation.
Project description:3-Phosphoglycerate dehydrogenase (PHGDH) has recently been identified as an attractive target in cancer therapy as it links upregulated glycolytic flux to increased biomass production in cancer cells. PHGDH catalyses the first step in the serine synthesis pathway and thus diverts glycolytic flux into serine synthesis. We have used siRNA-mediated suppression of PHGDH expression to show that PHGDH is a potential therapeutic target in PHGDH-amplified breast cancer. Knockdown caused reduced proliferation in the PHGDH-amplified cell line MDA-MB-468, whereas breast cancer cells with low PHGDH expression or with elevated PHGDH expression in the absence of genomic amplification were not affected. As a first step towards design of a chemical probe for PHGDH, we report a fragment-based drug discovery approach for the identification of PHGDH inhibitors. We designed a truncated PHGDH construct that gave crystals which diffracted to high resolution, and could be used for fragment soaking. 15 fragments stabilising PHGDH were identified using a thermal shift assay and validated by X-ray crystallography and ITC competition experiments to exhibit 1.5-26.2 mM affinity for PHGDH. A structure-guided fragment growing approach was applied to the PHGDH binders from the initial screen, yielding greater understanding of the binding site and suggesting routes to achieve higher affinity NAD-competitive inhibitors.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Copy number gain of the D-3-phosphoglycerate dehydrogenase (PHGDH) gene, which encodes the first enzyme in serine biosynthesis, is found in some human cancers including a subset of melanomas. METHODS:In order to study the effect of increased PHGDH expression in tissues in vivo, we generated mice harboring a PHGDHtetO allele that allows tissue-specific, doxycycline-inducible PHGDH expression, and we analyzed the phenotype of mice with a ubiquitous increase in PHGDH expression. RESULTS:Tissues and cells derived from PHGDHtetO mice exhibit increased serine biosynthesis. Histological examination of skin tissue from PHGDHtetO mice reveals the presence of melanin granules in early anagen hair follicles, despite the fact that melanin synthesis is closely coupled to the hair follicle cycle and does not normally begin until later in the cycle. This phenotype occurs in the absence of any global change in hair follicle cycle timing. The aberrant presence of melanin early in the hair follicle cycle following PHGDH expression is also accompanied by increased melanocyte abundance in early anagen skin. CONCLUSIONS:These data suggest increased PHGDH expression impacts normal melanocyte biology, but PHGDH expression alone is not sufficient to cause cancer.
Project description:Background:d-3-phosphoglycerate dehydrogenase (PHGDH), which encodes the first enzyme in serine biosynthesis, is overexpressed in human cancers and has been proposed as a drug target. However, whether PHGDH is critical for the proliferation or homeostasis of tissues following the postnatal period is unknown. Methods:To study PHGDH inhibition in adult animals, we developed a knock-in mouse model harboring a PHGDH shRNA under the control of a doxycycline-inducible promoter. With this model, PHGDH depletion can be globally induced in adult animals, while sparing the brain due to poor doxycycline delivery. Results:We found that PHGDH depletion is well tolerated, and no overt phenotypes were observed in multiple highly proliferative cell compartments. Further, despite detectable knockdown and impaired serine synthesis, liver and pancreatic functions were normal. Interestingly, diminished PHGDH expression reduced liver serine and ceramide levels without increasing the levels of deoxysphingolipids. Further, liver triacylglycerol profiles were altered, with an accumulation of longer chain, polyunsaturated tails upon PHGDH knockdown. Conclusions:These results suggest that dietary serine is adequate to support the function of healthy, adult murine tissues, but PHGDH-derived serine supports liver ceramide synthesis and sustains general lipid homeostasis.
Project description:Metabolic reprogramming in cancer cells facilitates growth and proliferation. Increased activity of the serine biosynthetic pathway through the enzyme phosphoglycerate dehydrogenase (PHGDH) contributes to tumorigenesis. With a small substrate and a weak binding cofactor, (NAD+), inhibitor development for PHGDH remains challenging. Instead of targeting the PHGDH active site, we computationally identified two potential allosteric sites and virtually screened compounds that can bind to these sites. With subsequent characterization, we successfully identified PHGDH non-NAD+-competing allosteric inhibitors that attenuate its enzyme activity, selectively inhibit de novo serine synthesis in cancer cells, and reduce tumor growth in vivo. Our study not only identifies novel allosteric inhibitors for PHGDH to probe its function and potential as a therapeutic target, but also provides a general strategy for the rational design of small-molecule modulators of metabolic enzyme function.
Project description:Phosphoglycerate dehydrogenase (PHGDH) catalyzes the committed step in de novo serine biosynthesis. Paradoxically, PHGDH and serine synthesis are required in the presence of abundant environmental serine even when serine uptake exceeds the requirements for nucleotide synthesis. Here, we establish a mechanism for how PHGDH maintains nucleotide metabolism. We show that inhibition of PHGDH induces alterations in nucleotide metabolism independent of serine utilization. These changes are not attributable to defects in serine-derived nucleotide synthesis and redox maintenance, another key aspect of serine metabolism, but result from disruption of mass balance within central carbon metabolism. Mechanistically, this leads to simultaneous alterations in both the pentose phosphate pathway and the tri-carboxylic acid cycle, as we demonstrate based on a quantitative model. These findings define a mechanism whereby disruption of one metabolic pathway induces toxicity by simultaneously affecting the activity of multiple related pathways.
Project description:Cancer cells reprogram their metabolism and energy production to sustain increased growth, enable metastasis and overcome resistance to cancer treatments. Although primary roles for many metabolic proteins have been identified, some are promiscuous in regards to the reaction they catalyze. To efficiently target these enzymes, a good understanding of their enzymatic function and structure, as well as knowledge regarding any substrate or catalytic promiscuity is required. Here we focus on the characterization of human 3-phosphoglycerate dehydrogenase (PHGDH). PHGDH catalyzes the NAD+-dependent conversion of 3-phosphoglycerate to phosphohydroxypyruvate, which is the first step in the de novo synthesis pathway of serine, a critical amino acid for protein and nucleic acid biosynthesis. We have investigated substrate analogues to assess whether PHGDH might possess other enzymatic roles that could explain its occasional over-expression in cancer, as well as to help with the design of specific inhibitors. We also report the crystal structure of the catalytic subunit of human PHGDH, a dimer, solved with bound cofactor in one monomer and both cofactor and L-tartrate in the second monomer. In vitro enzyme activity measurements show that the catalytic subunit of PHGDH is still active and that PHGDH activity could be significantly inhibited with adenosine 5'-diphosphoribose.
Project description:For many years now, targeting deregulation within cancer cells' metabolism has appeared as a promising strategy for the development of more specific and efficient cancer treatments. Recently, numerous reports highlighted the crucial role of the serine synthetic pathway, and particularly of the phosphoglycerate dehydrogenase (PHGDH), the first enzyme of the pathway, to sustain cancer progression. Yet, because of very weak potencies usually in cell-based settings, the inhibitors reported so far failed to lay ground on the potential of this approach. In this paper, we report a structure-activity relationship study of a series of ?-ketothioamides that we have recently identified. Interestingly, this study led to a deeper understanding of the structure-activity relationship (SAR) in this series and to the identification of new PHGDH inhibitors. The activity of the more potent compounds was confirmed by cellular thermal shift assays and in cell-based experiments. We hope that this research will eventually provide a new entry point, based on this promising chemical scaffold, for the development of therapeutic agents targeting PHGDH.
Project description:Serine is both a proteinogenic amino acid and the source of one-carbon units essential for de novo purine and deoxythymidine synthesis. In the canonical pathway of glucose-derived serine synthesis, Homo sapiens phosphoglycerate dehydrogenase (PHGDH) catalyzes the first, rate-limiting step. Genetic loss of PHGDH is toxic toward PHGDH-overexpressing breast cancer cell lines even in the presence of exogenous serine. Here, we used a quantitative high-throughput screen to identify small-molecule PHGDH inhibitors. These compounds reduce the production of glucose-derived serine in cells and suppress the growth of PHGDH-dependent cancer cells in culture and in orthotopic xenograft tumors. Surprisingly, PHGDH inhibition reduced the incorporation into nucleotides of one-carbon units from glucose-derived and exogenous serine. We conclude that glycolytic serine synthesis coordinates the use of one-carbon units from endogenous and exogenous serine in nucleotide synthesis, and we suggest that one-carbon unit wasting thus may contribute to the efficacy of PHGDH inhibitors in vitro and in vivo.
Project description:NAD+ is a key metabolic redox cofactor that is regenerated from nicotinamide through the NAD+ salvage pathway. Here, we find that inhibiting the NAD+ salvage pathway depletes serine biosynthesis from glucose by impeding the NAD+-dependent protein, 3-phosphoglycerate dehydrogenase (PHGDH). Importantly, we find that PHGDHhigh breast cancer cell lines are exquisitely sensitive to inhibition of the NAD+ salvage pathway. Further, we find that PHGDH protein levels and those of the rate-limiting enzyme of NAD+ salvage, NAMPT, correlate in ER-negative, basal-like breast cancers. Although NAD+ salvage pathway inhibitors are actively being pursued in cancer treatment, their efficacy has been poor, and our findings suggest that they may be effective for PHGDH-dependent cancers.