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Disruption Of The TCA Cycle Reveals An ATF4-dependent Integration Of Redox And Amino Acid Metabolism

Dylan G. Ryan, Ming Yang, Hiran A. Prag, Giovanny Rodriguez Blanco, Efterpi Nikitopoulou, Marc Segarra-Mondejar, Christopher A. Powell, Tim Young, Nils Burger, Jan Lj. Miljkovic, Michal Minczuk, Michael P. Murphy, Alexander von Kriegsheim, Christian Frezza

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SummaryThe Tricarboxylic Acid Cycle (TCA) cycle is arguably the most critical metabolic cycle in physiology and exists as an essential interface coordinating cellular metabolism, bioenergetics, and redox homeostasis. Despite decades of research, a comprehensive investigation into the consequences of TCA cycle dysfunction remains elusive. Here, we targeted two TCA cycle enzymes, fumarate hydratase (FH) and succinate dehydrogenase (SDH), and combined metabolomics, transcriptomics, and proteomics analyses to fully appraise the consequences of TCA cycle inhibition (TCAi) in kidney epithelial cells. Our comparative approach shows that TCAi elicits a convergent rewiring of redox and amino acid metabolism dependent on the activation of ATF4 and the integrated stress response (ISR). Furthermore, we also uncover a divergent metabolic response, whereby acute FHi, but not SDHi, can maintain asparagine levels via reductive carboxylation and maintenance of cytosolic aspartate synthesis. Our work highlights an important interplay between the TCA cycle, redox biology and amino acid homeostasis.HighlightsTCA cycle inhibition promotes GSH synthesis and impairs de novo aspartate and proline synthesisDisruption of mitochondrial thiol redox homeostasis phenocopies TCA cycle inhibition by promoting GSH synthesis and impairing proline and aspartate synthesisAcute FHi, but not SDHi, can maintain asparagine levels via reductive carboxylation and maintenance of cytosolic aspartate synthesisTCA cycle inhibition mimics an amino acid deprivation-type response and activates ATF4 via the integrated stress response to maintain redox and amino acid homeostasis