Publication Highlights: May & June 2022
In their study in Nature Metabolism, Emily Kay, Sara Zanivan and co-authors found that extracellular matrix production by cancer-associated fibroblasts - which is pro-tumorigenic - is under strict metabolic control, in particular as a result of increased proline synthesis.
Together with scientists at Imperial College London, the Coffelt lab published an article in Discovery Immunology which showed that γδ T cells with the receptor NKG2D acted to promote tumour growth in bowel cancer. The abundance of receptor ligands in the tumour microenvironment led to the accumulation of NKG2D-expressing cells and therefore the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines such as IL-17A.
Glycans are carbohydrate-based structures that determine the correct functioning of the cellular machinery. In PNAS, Alice Baudot, Victoria Wang and colleagues described the importance of appropriate glycan degradation for successful macroautophagy. When glycans accumulated, autophagy was slowed down due to impaired activity of lysosomal enzymes – resulting in accumulation of undigested cargo and failed fusion of the autophagosome-lysosome.
Beatson scientists were first to study the metabolism of bone marrow mesenchymal stromal cells cultured using Plasmax – a physiologically relevant medium developed in house by Saverio Tardito. The distinct exchange of glucose and glutamine carbons as well as citrate secretion from MSC helps shape the microenvironment in the bone marrow niche - "Mesenchymal stromal cells cultured in physiological conditions sustain citrate secretion with glutamate anaplerosis"