Pulmonary/Critical Care Research

New publication from the section!

Formally published! (and with an accompanying editorial: Subramanian, A., Becker, L.M. & Carmeliet, P. Endothelial metabolism going single. Nat Metab 3, 593–594 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1038/s42255-021-00399-3)


Wu, D., Harrison, D.L., Szasz, T. et al. Single-cell metabolic imaging reveals a SLC2A3-dependent glycolytic burst in motile endothelial cells. Nat Metab 3, 714–727 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1038/s42255-021-00390-y


Single-cell motility is spatially heterogeneous and driven by metabolic energy. Directly linking cell motility to cell metabolism is technically challenging but biologically important. Here, we use single-cell metabolic imaging to measure glycolysis in individual endothelial cells with genetically encoded biosensors capable of deciphering metabolic heterogeneity at subcellular resolution. We show that cellular glycolysis fuels endothelial activation, migration and contraction and that sites of high lactate production colocalize with active cytoskeletal remodelling within an endothelial cell. Mechanistically, RhoA induces endothelial glycolysis for the phosphorylation of cofilin and myosin light chain in order to reorganize the cytoskeleton and thus control cell motility; RhoA activation triggers a glycolytic burst through the translocation of the glucose transporter SLC2A3/GLUT3 to fuel the cellular contractile machinery, as demonstrated across multiple endothelial cell types. Our data indicate that Rho-GTPase signalling coordinates energy metabolism with cytoskeleton remodelling to regulate endothelial cell motility.


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