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Carbonic anhydrases are involved in mitochondrial biogenesis and control the production of lactate by human Sertoli cells

Bernardino, Raquel L., Dias, Tânia R., Moreira, Bruno P., Cunha, Mariana, Barros, Alberto, Oliveira, Elsa, Sousa, Mário, Alves, Marco G., Oliveira, Pedro F.
TheFEBS journal 2019 v.286 no.7 pp. 1393-1406
Sertoli cells, acetazolamide, acetyl coenzyme A, alanine, bicarbonates, biogenesis, biopsy, carbon dioxide, carbonate dehydratase, carboxylic ester hydrolases, glucose, humans, hypoxia-inducible factor 1, lactic acid, lipid metabolism, men, messenger RNA, mitochondria, mitochondrial DNA, pH, protons, pyruvic acid, spermatogenesis
The process that allows cells to control their pH and bicarbonate levels is essential for ionic and metabolic equilibrium. Carbonic anhydrases (CAs) catalyse the conversion of CO₂ to HCO3− and H⁺ and are thus essential for this process. Herein, we inhibited CAs with acetazolamide – ACT and SLC‐0111 – to study their involvement in the metabolism, mitochondrial potential, mitochondrial biogenesis and lipid metabolism of human Sertoli cells (hSCs), obtained from biopsies from men with conserved spermatogenesis. We were able to identify three isoforms of CAs, one mitochondrial isoform (CA VB) and two cell membrane‐bound isoforms (CA IX and CA XII) in hSCs. When assessing the expression of markers for mitochondrial biogenesis, we observed a decrease in HIF‐1α, SIRT1, PGC1α and NRF‐1 mRNAs after all CAs were inhibited, resulting in decreased mitochondrial DNA copy numbers. This was followed by an increased production of lactate and alanine in the same conditions. In addition, consumption of glucose was maintained after inhibition of all CAs in hSCs. These results indicate a reduced conversion of pyruvate to acetyl‐coA, possibly due to decreased mitochondrial function, caused by CA inhibition in hSCs. Inhibition of CAs also caused alterations in lipid metabolism, since we detected an increased expression of hormone‐sensitive lipase (HSL) in hSCs. Our results suggest that CAs are essential for mitochondrial biogenesis, glucose and lipid metabolism in hSCs. This is the first report showing that CAs play an essential role in hSC metabolic dynamics, being involved in mitochondrial biogenesis and controlling lactate production.