Relative to resting lymphocytes, both activated lymphocytes and cancer cells exhibit a unique shift in cell metabolism from oxidative phosphorylation, which efficiently produces energy, to aerobic glycolysis, which generates bio-precursors (such as lipids, amino acids, and nucleotides) required to fuel cell division. An understanding of the factors that control this metabolic switch (termed "Warburg effect") is highly significant because it could lead to novel strategies to selectively block lymphocyte activation in autoimmune disease, and/or inhibit cancer cell survival. In this application, we propose to investigate a novel protein called Folliculin Interacting protein-1 (Fnip1) which our studies suggest is essential for maintaining "metabolic balance" during energy stress such as during lymphocyte activation, nutrient restriction, and oncogene activation. We identified an innovative new strain of mice lacking Fnip1 in a chemical mutagenesis screen, based on the complete absence of B lymphocytes in peripheral blood. Fnip1 null mice have blocks in pre-B cell and invariant natural killer T (iNKT) cell development at stages where the cells normally undergo massive division dependent on c- Myc, an oncogene which potently drives aerobic glycolysis. Remarkably, loss of Fnip1 also protects against pre-B cell lymphoma induced by c-Myc in a mouse model of Burkitt's B cell lymphoma. Although the functions of Fnip1 are unknown, it interacts with Folliculin (a protein of unknown function) and the master metabolic regulator AMP kinase, an energy sensing molecule that stimulates energy production (oxidative phosphorylation) in response to energy stress and inhibits energy-consuming anabolic processes regulated by mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR). Our long-term goals are to determine how Fnip1 functions to control the development, metabolism, and transformation of lymphocytes.
Our Specific Aims are: (1) To examine the roles of Fnip1 in pre-B cell development and metabolism. We will utilize metabolomic, metabolic flux analysis, and transcriptomic approaches to determine whether loss of Fnip1 inhibits the "Warburg effect";(2) To define the molecular mechanisms of Fnip1 function in B lymphocytes. We will use biochemical, genetic, and mass spectrometry approaches to determine whether Fnip1 is essential to "turn off" mTOR mediated nutrient consumption, and "turn on" autophagy (self-digestion of organelles to generate nutrients) in response to nutrient deficit;and (3) To determine the roles of Fnip1 in iNKT cell development and survival. We will define how Fnip1 controls Myc-dependent development, survival and metabolism of this important regulatory T cell subset. These studies will address our overall innovative hypothesis that inhibition of Fnip1 "disconnects" the essential link between anabolic cell growth and aerobic glycolysis, by permitting activated lymphocytes and/or tumor cells to grow in the absence of sufficient energy and bio-substrates, resulting in "nutrient exhaustion" and cell death.

Public Health Relevance

Research described in the proposal will test the efficacy of inhibiting a novel protein called Fnip1 as a strategy to neutralize auto-reactive immune cells in autoimmune diseases, and/or kill cancer cells in leukemia and lymphoma patients. Results of these studies have broader implications for treating other types of cancer, as well as metabolic diseases such as obesity, diabetes, and muscular dystrophy. DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): Project Summary Relative to resting lymphocytes, both activated lymphocytes and cancer cells exhibit a unique shift in cell metabolism from oxidative phosphorylation, which efficiently produces energy, to aerobic glycolysis, which generates bio-precursors (such as lipids, amino acids, and nucleotides) required to fuel cell division. An understanding of the factors that control this metabolic switch (termed Warburg effect) is highly significant because it could lead to novel strategies to selectively block lymphocyte activation in autoimmune disease, and/or inhibit cancer cell survival. In this application, we propose to investigate a novel protein called Folliculin Interacting protein-1 (Fnip1) which our studies suggest is essential for maintaining metabolic balance during energy stress such as during lymphocyte activation, nutrient restriction, and oncogene activation. We identified an innovative new strain of mice lacking Fnip1 in a chemical mutagenesis screen, based on the complete absence of B lymphocytes in peripheral blood. Fnip1 null mice have blocks in pre-B cell and invariant natural killer T (iNKT) cell development at stages where the cells normally undergo massive division dependent on c- Myc, an oncogene which potently drives aerobic glycolysis. Remarkably, loss of Fnip1 also protects against pre-B cell lymphoma induced by c-Myc in a mouse model of Burkitt's B cell lymphoma. Although the functions of Fnip1 are unknown, it interacts with Folliculin (a protein of unknown function) and the master metabolic regulator AMP kinase, an energy sensing molecule that stimulates energy production (oxidative phosphorylation) in response to energy stress and inhibits energy-consuming anabolic processes regulated by mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR). Our long-term goals are to determine how Fnip1 functions to control the development, metabolism, and transformation of lymphocytes. Our Specific Aims are: (1) To examine the roles of Fnip1 in pre-B cell development and metabolism. We will utilize metabolomic, metabolic flux analysis, and transcriptomic approaches to determine whether loss of Fnip1 inhibits the Warburg effect;(2) To define the molecular mechanisms of Fnip1 function in B lymphocytes. We will use biochemical, genetic, and mass spectrometry approaches to determine whether Fnip1 is essential to turn off mTOR mediated nutrient consumption, and turn on autophagy (self-digestion of organelles to generate nutrients) in response to nutrient deficit;and (3) To determine the roles of Fnip1 in iNKT cell development and survival. We will define how Fnip1 controls Myc-dependent development, survival and metabolism of this important regulatory T cell subset. These studies will address our overall innovative hypothesis that inhibition of Fnip1 disconnects the essential link between anabolic cell growth and aerobic glycolysis, by permitting activated lymphocytes and/or tumor cells to grow in the absence of sufficient energy and bio-substrates, resulting in nutrient exhaustion and cell death.

Agency
National Institute of Health (NIH)
Institute
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)
Type
High Priority, Short Term Project Award (R56)
Project #
1R56AI092093-01A1
Application #
8711871
Study Section
Cellular and Molecular Immunology - A Study Section (CMIA)
Program Officer
Johnson, David R
Project Start
2013-08-15
Project End
2014-07-31
Budget Start
2013-08-15
Budget End
2014-07-31
Support Year
1
Fiscal Year
2013
Total Cost
$353,497
Indirect Cost
$118,497
Name
University of Washington
Department
Veterinary Sciences
Type
Schools of Medicine
DUNS #
605799469
City
Seattle
State
WA
Country
United States
Zip Code
98195
Park, Heon; Tsang, Mark; Iritani, Brian M et al. (2014) Metabolic regulator Fnip1 is crucial for iNKT lymphocyte development. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 111:7066-71