Publications by authors named "Maria Antonietta Di Noia"

10 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Epistasis-driven identification of SLC25A51 as a regulator of human mitochondrial NAD import.

Nat Commun 2020 12 1;11(1):6145. Epub 2020 Dec 1.

CeMM Research Center for Molecular Medicine of the Austrian Academy of Sciences, Vienna, Austria.

About a thousand genes in the human genome encode for membrane transporters. Among these, several solute carrier proteins (SLCs), representing the largest group of transporters, are still orphan and lack functional characterization. We reasoned that assessing genetic interactions among SLCs may be an efficient way to obtain functional information allowing their deorphanization. Here we describe a network of strong genetic interactions indicating a contribution to mitochondrial respiration and redox metabolism for SLC25A51/MCART1, an uncharacterized member of the SLC25 family of transporters. Through a combination of metabolomics, genomics and genetics approaches, we demonstrate a role for SLC25A51 as enabler of mitochondrial import of NAD, showcasing the potential of genetic interaction-driven functional gene deorphanization.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-020-19871-xDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7708531PMC
December 2020

Glufosinate constrains synchronous and metachronous metastasis by promoting anti-tumor macrophages.

EMBO Mol Med 2020 10 4;12(10):e11210. Epub 2020 Sep 4.

Laboratory of Tumor Inflammation and Angiogenesis, Center for Cancer Biology (CCB), VIB, Leuven, Belgium.

Glutamine synthetase (GS) generates glutamine from glutamate and controls the release of inflammatory mediators. In macrophages, GS activity, driven by IL10, associates to the acquisition of M2-like functions. Conditional deletion of GS in macrophages inhibits metastasis by boosting the formation of anti-tumor, M1-like, tumor-associated macrophages (TAMs). From this basis, we evaluated the pharmacological potential of GS inhibitors in targeting metastasis, identifying glufosinate as a specific human GS inhibitor. Glufosinate was tested in both cultured macrophages and on mice bearing metastatic lung, skin and breast cancer. We found that glufosinate rewires macrophages toward an M1-like phenotype both at the primary tumor and metastatic site, countering immunosuppression and promoting vessel sprouting. This was also accompanied to a reduction in cancer cell intravasation and extravasation, leading to synchronous and metachronous metastasis growth inhibition, but no effects on primary tumor growth. Glufosinate treatment was well-tolerated, without liver and brain toxicity, nor hematopoietic defects. These results identify GS as a druggable enzyme to rewire macrophage functions and highlight the potential of targeting metabolic checkpoints in macrophages to treat cancer metastasis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.15252/emmm.201911210DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7539200PMC
October 2020

The human uncoupling proteins 5 and 6 (UCP5/SLC25A14 and UCP6/SLC25A30) transport sulfur oxyanions, phosphate and dicarboxylates.

Biochim Biophys Acta Bioenerg 2019 09 26;1860(9):724-733. Epub 2019 Jul 26.

Department of Biosciences, Biotechnologies and Biopharmaceutics, Laboratory of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Bari Aldo Moro, Via E. Orabona 4, 70125 Bari, Italy; Center of Excellence in Comparative Genomics, University of Bari, via Orabona 4, 70125 Bari, Italy; CNR Institute of Biomembranes, Bioenergetics and Molecular Biotechnologies (IBIOM), 70126 Bari, Italy.

The human genome encodes 53 members of the solute carrier family 25 (SLC25), also called the mitochondrial carrier family. In this work, two members of this family, UCP5 (BMCP1, brain mitochondrial carrier protein 1 encoded by SLC25A14) and UCP6 (KMCP1, kidney mitochondrial carrier protein 1 encoded by SLC25A30) have been thoroughly characterized biochemically. They were overexpressed in bacteria, purified and reconstituted in phospholipid vesicles. Their transport properties and kinetic parameters demonstrate that UCP5 and UCP6 transport inorganic anions (sulfate, sulfite, thiosulfate and phosphate) and, to a lesser extent, a variety of dicarboxylates (e.g. malonate, malate and citramalate) and, even more so, aspartate and (only UCP5) glutamate and tricarboxylates. Both carriers catalyzed a fast counter-exchange transport and a very low uniport of substrates. Transport was saturable and inhibited by mercurials and other mitochondrial carrier inhibitors at various degrees. The transport affinities of UCP5 and UCP6 were higher for sulfate and thiosulfate than for any other substrate, whereas the specific activity of UCP5 was much higher than that of UCP6. It is proposed that a main physiological role of UCP5 and UCP6 is to catalyze the export of sulfite and thiosulfate (the HS degradation products) from the mitochondria, thereby modulating the level of the important signal molecule HS.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bbabio.2019.07.010DOI Listing
September 2019

Identification of new highly selective inhibitors of the human ADP/ATP carriers by molecular docking and in vitro transport assays.

Biochem Pharmacol 2016 Jan 23;100:112-32. Epub 2015 Nov 23.

Department of Biosciences, Biotechnologies and Biopharmaceutics, University of Bari, Via Orabona 4, 70125 Bari, Italy. Electronic address:

Mitochondrial carriers are proteins that shuttle a variety of metabolites, nucleotides and coenzymes across the inner mitochondrial membrane. The mitochondrial ADP/ATP carriers (AACs) specifically translocate the ATP synthesized within mitochondria to the cytosol in exchange for the cytosolic ADP, playing a key role in energy production, in promoting cell viability and regulating mitochondrial permeability transition pore opening. In Homo sapiens four genes code for AACs with different tissue distribution and expression patterns. Since AACs are dysregulated in several cancer types, the employment of known and new AAC inhibitors might be crucial for inducing mitochondrial-mediated apoptosis in cancer cells. Albeit carboxyatractyloside (CATR) and bongkrekic acid (BKA) are known to be powerful and highly selective AAC inhibitors, able to induce mitochondrial dysfunction at molecular level and poisoning at physiological level, we estimated here for the first time their affinity for the human recombinant AAC2 by in vitro transport assays. We found that the inhibition constants of CATR and BKA are 4 nM and 2.0 μM, respectively. For finding new AAC inhibitors we also performed a docking-based virtual screening of an in-house developed chemical library and we identified about 100 ligands showing high affinity for the AAC2 binding region. By testing 13 commercially available molecules, out of the 100 predicted candidates, we found that 2 of them, namely suramin and chebulinic acid, are competitive AAC2 inhibitors with inhibition constants 0.3 μM and 2.1 μM, respectively. We also demonstrated that chebulinic acid and suramin are "highly selective" AAC2 inhibitors, since they poorly inhibit other human mitochondrial carriers (namely ORC1, APC1 and AGC1).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bcp.2015.11.019DOI Listing
January 2016

The human SLC25A33 and SLC25A36 genes of solute carrier family 25 encode two mitochondrial pyrimidine nucleotide transporters.

J Biol Chem 2014 Nov 15;289(48):33137-48. Epub 2014 Oct 15.

From the Department of Biosciences, Biotechnologies and Biopharmaceutics, University of Bari, via Orabona 4, 70125 Bari, Italy, Center of Excellence in Comparative Genomics, University of Bari, via Orabona 4, 70125 Bari, Italy

The human genome encodes 53 members of the solute carrier family 25 (SLC25), also called the mitochondrial carrier family, many of which have been shown to transport inorganic anions, amino acids, carboxylates, nucleotides, and coenzymes across the inner mitochondrial membrane, thereby connecting cytosolic and matrix functions. Here two members of this family, SLC25A33 and SLC25A36, have been thoroughly characterized biochemically. These proteins were overexpressed in bacteria and reconstituted in phospholipid vesicles. Their transport properties and kinetic parameters demonstrate that SLC25A33 transports uracil, thymine, and cytosine (deoxy)nucleoside di- and triphosphates by an antiport mechanism and SLC25A36 cytosine and uracil (deoxy)nucleoside mono-, di-, and triphosphates by uniport and antiport. Both carriers also transported guanine but not adenine (deoxy)nucleotides. Transport catalyzed by both carriers was saturable and inhibited by mercurial compounds and other inhibitors of mitochondrial carriers to various degrees. In confirmation of their identity (i) SLC25A33 and SLC25A36 were found to be targeted to mitochondria and (ii) the phenotypes of Saccharomyces cerevisiae cells lacking RIM2, the gene encoding the well characterized yeast mitochondrial pyrimidine nucleotide carrier, were overcome by expressing SLC25A33 or SLC25A36 in these cells. The main physiological role of SLC25A33 and SLC25A36 is to import/export pyrimidine nucleotides into and from mitochondria, i.e. to accomplish transport steps essential for mitochondrial DNA and RNA synthesis and breakdown.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1074/jbc.M114.610808DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4246075PMC
November 2014

Distance-dependent hydrophobic-hydrophobic contacts in protein folding simulations.

Phys Chem Chem Phys 2014 Sep;16(35):18907-17

Department of Biosciences, Biotechnologies and Biopharmaceutics, University of Bari, Via Orabona 4, 70125, Bari, Italy.

Successful prediction of protein folding from an amino acid sequence is a challenge in computational biology. In order to reveal the geometric constraints that drive protein folding, highlight those constraints kept or missed by distinct lattices and for establishing which class of intra- and inter-secondary structure element interactions is the most relevant for the correct folding of proteins, we have calculated inter-alpha carbon distances in a set of 42 crystal structures consisting of mainly helix, sheet or mixed conformations. The inter-alpha carbon distances were also calculated in several lattice "hydrophobic-polar" models built from the same protein set. We found that helix structures are more prone to form "hydrophobic-hydrophobic" contacts than beta-sheet structures. At a distance lower than or equal to 3.8 Å (very short-range interactions), "hydrophobic-hydrophobic" contacts are almost absent in the native structures, while they are frequent in all the analyzed lattice models. At distances in-between 3.8 and 9.5 Å (short-/medium-range interactions), the best performing lattice for reproducing mainly helix structures is the body-centered-cubic lattice. If protein structures contain sheet portions, lattice performances get worse, with few exceptions observed for double-tetrahedral and body-centered-cubic lattices. Finally, we can observe that ab initio protein folding algorithms, i.e. those based on the employment of lattices and Monte Carlo simulated annealings, can be improved simply and effectively by preventing the generation of "hydrophobic-hydrophobic" contacts shorter than 3.8 Å, by monitoring the "hydrophobic-hydrophobic/polar-polar" contact ratio in short-/medium distance ranges and by using preferentially a body-centered-cubic lattice.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/c4cp01131gDOI Listing
September 2014

The Saccharomyces cerevisiae gene YPR011c encodes a mitochondrial transporter of adenosine 5'-phosphosulfate and 3'-phospho-adenosine 5'-phosphosulfate.

Biochim Biophys Acta 2014 Feb 1;1837(2):326-34. Epub 2013 Dec 1.

Department of Biosciences, Biotechnologies and Biopharmaceutics, University of Bari, via Orabona 4, 70125 Bari, Italy; Center of Excellence in Comparative Genomics, University of Bari, Italy. Electronic address:

The genome of Saccharomyces cerevisiae contains 35 members of the mitochondrial carrier family, nearly all of which have been functionally characterized. In this study, the identification of the mitochondrial carrier for adenosine 5'-phosphosulfate (APS) is described. The corresponding gene (YPR011c) was overexpressed in bacteria. The purified protein was reconstituted into phospholipid vesicles and its transport properties and kinetic parameters were characterized. It transported APS, 3'-phospho-adenosine 5'-phosphosulfate, sulfate and phosphate almost exclusively by a counter-exchange mechanism. Transport was saturable and inhibited by bongkrekic acid and other inhibitors. To investigate the physiological significance of this carrier in S. cerevisiae, mutants were subjected to thermal shock at 45°C in the presence of sulfate and in the absence of methionine. At 45°C cells lacking YPR011c, engineered cells (in which APS is produced only in mitochondria) and more so the latter cells, in which the exit of mitochondrial APS is prevented by the absence of YPR011cp, were less thermotolerant. Moreover, at the same temperature all these cells contained less methionine and total glutathione than wild-type cells. Our results show that S. cerevisiae mitochondria are equipped with a transporter for APS and that YPR011cp-mediated mitochondrial transport of APS occurs in S. cerevisiae under thermal stress conditions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bbabio.2013.11.013DOI Listing
February 2014

The mitochondrial citrate carrier: a new player in inflammation.

Biochem J 2011 Sep;438(3):433-6

Department of Pharmaco-Biology, Laboratory of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Bari, 70125 Bari, Italy.

The mitochondrial CIC (citrate carrier) catalyses the efflux of citrate from the mitochondrial matrix in exchange for cytosolic malate. In the present paper we show that CIC mRNA and protein markedly increase in lipopolysaccharide-activated immune cells. Moreover, CIC gene silencing and CIC activity inhibition significantly reduce production of NO, reactive oxygen species and prostaglandins. These results demonstrate for the first time that CIC has a critical role in inflammation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1042/BJ20111275DOI Listing
September 2011

Heme oxygenase-1 enhances renal mitochondrial transport carriers and cytochrome C oxidase activity in experimental diabetes.

J Biol Chem 2006 Jun 4;281(23):15687-93. Epub 2006 Apr 4.

Department of Pharmaco-Biology, University of Bari, 70125 Bari, Italy.

Up-regulation of heme oxygenase (HO-1) by either cobalt protoporphyrin (CoPP) or human gene transfer improves vascular and renal function by several mechanisms, including increases in antioxidant levels and decreases in reactive oxygen species (ROS) in vascular and renal tissue. The purpose of the present study was to determine the effect of HO-1 overexpression on mitochondrial transporters, cytochrome c oxidase, and anti-apoptotic proteins in diabetic rats (streptozotocin, (STZ)-induced type 1 diabetes). Renal mitochondrial carnitine, deoxynucleotide, and ADP/ATP carriers were significantly reduced in diabetic compared with nondiabetic rats (p < 0.05). The citrate carrier was not significantly decreased in diabetic tissue. CoPP administration produced a robust increase in carnitine, citrate, deoxynucleotide, dicarboxylate, and ADP/ATP carriers and no significant change in oxoglutarate and aspartate/glutamate carriers. The increase in mitochondrial carriers (MCs) was associated with a significant increase in cytochrome c oxidase activity. The administration of tin mesoporphyrin (SnMP), an inhibitor of HO-1 activity, prevented the restoration of MCs in diabetic rats. Human HO-1 cDNA transfer into diabetic rats increased both HO-1 protein and activity, and restored mitochondrial ADP/ATP and deoxynucleotide carriers. The increase in HO-1 by CoPP administration was associated with a significant increase in the phosphorylation of AKT and levels of BcL-XL proteins. These observations in experimental diabetes suggest that the cytoprotective mechanism of HO-1 against oxidative stress involves an increase in the levels of MCs and anti-apoptotic proteins as well as in cytochrome c oxidase activity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1074/jbc.M510595200DOI Listing
June 2006

Identification of a mitochondrial transporter for pyrimidine nucleotides in Saccharomyces cerevisiae: bacterial expression, reconstitution and functional characterization.

Biochem J 2006 Jan;393(Pt 2):441-6

Department of Pharmaco-Biology, Laboratory of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Bari, Via E. Orabona 4, 70125 Bari, Italy.

Pyrimidine (deoxy)nucleoside triphosphates are required in mitochondria for the synthesis of DNA and the various types of RNA present in these organelles. In Saccharomyces cerevisiae, these nucleotides are synthesized outside the mitochondrial matrix and must therefore be transported across the permeability barrier of the mitochondrial inner membrane. However, no protein has ever been found to be associated with this transport activity. In the present study, Rim2p has been identified as a yeast mitochondrial pyrimidine nucleotide transporter. Rim2p (replication in mitochondria 2p) is a member of the mitochondrial carrier protein family having some special features. The RIM2 gene was overexpressed in bacteria. The purified protein was reconstituted into liposomes and its transport properties and kinetic parameters were characterized. It transported the pyrimidine (deoxy)nucleoside tri- and di-phosphates and, to a lesser extent, pyrimidine (deoxy)nucleoside monophosphates, by a counter-exchange mechanism. Transport was saturable, with an apparent K(m) of 207 microM for TTP, 404 microM for UTP and 435 microM for CTP. Rim2p was strongly inhibited by mercurials, bathophenanthroline, tannic acid and Bromocresol Purple, and partially inhibited by bongkrekic acid. Furthermore, the Rim2p-mediated heteroexchanges, TTP/TMP and TTP/TDP, are electroneutral and probably H+-compensated. The main physiological role of Rim2p is proposed to be to transport (deoxy)pyrimidine nucleoside triphosphates into mitochondria in exchange for intramitochondrially generated (deoxy)pyrimidine nucleoside monophosphates.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1042/BJ20051284DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1360694PMC
January 2006