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Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.1038/S41416-020-01156-1

Cysteine metabolic circuitries: druggable targets in cancer

02 Mar 2021-British Journal of Cancer (Nature Publishing Group)-Vol. 124, Iss: 5, pp 862-879
Abstract: To enable survival in adverse conditions, cancer cells undergo global metabolic adaptations. The amino acid cysteine actively contributes to cancer metabolic remodelling on three different levels: first, in its free form, in redox control, as a component of the antioxidant glutathione or its involvement in protein s-cysteinylation, a reversible post-translational modification; second, as a substrate for the production of hydrogen sulphide (H2S), which feeds the mitochondrial electron transfer chain and mediates per-sulphidation of ATPase and glycolytic enzymes, thereby stimulating cellular bioenergetics; and, finally, as a carbon source for epigenetic regulation, biomass production and energy production. This review will provide a systematic portrayal of the role of cysteine in cancer biology as a source of carbon and sulphur atoms, the pivotal role of cysteine in different metabolic pathways and the importance of H2S as an energetic substrate and signalling molecule. The different pools of cysteine in the cell and within the body, and their putative use as prognostic cancer markers will be also addressed. Finally, we will discuss the pharmacological means and potential of targeting cysteine metabolism for the treatment of cancer.

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Topics: Cysteine metabolism (62%), Cysteine (52%), Metabolic pathway (51%) ... show more
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16 results found


Open accessJournal Article
Topics: SWORD (58%)

523 Citations


Open access
Qian Wang1, Qian Wang2, Rae-Anne Hardie1, Rae-Anne Hardie2  +31 moreInstitutions (5)
01 Jul 2015-
Abstract: Glutamine is conditionally essential in cancer cells, being utilized as a carbon and nitrogen source for macromolecule production, as well as for anaplerotic reactions fuelling the tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle. In this study, we demonstrated that the glutamine transporter ASCT2 (SLC1A5) is highly expressed in prostate cancer patient samples. Using LNCaP and PC-3 prostate cancer cell lines, we showed that chemical or shRNA-mediated inhibition of ASCT2 function in vitro decreases glutamine uptake, cell cycle progression through E2F transcription factors, mTORC1 pathway activation and cell growth. Chemical inhibition also reduces basal oxygen consumption and fatty acid synthesis, showing that downstream metabolic function is reliant on ASCT2-mediated glutamine uptake. Furthermore, shRNA knockdown of ASCT2 in PC-3 cell xenografts significantly inhibits tumour growth and metastasis in vivo, associated with the down-regulation of E2F cell cycle pathway proteins. In conclusion, ASCT2-mediated glutamine uptake is essential for multiple pathways regulating the cell cycle and cell growth, and is therefore a putative therapeutic target in prostate cancer.

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Topics: Glutamine (66%), LNCaP (58%), Cell growth (57%) ... show more

170 Citations


Open access
01 Oct 2017-
Abstract: The mTORC1 kinase is a master growth regulator that senses many environmental cues, including amino acids. Activation of mTORC1 by arginine requires SLC38A9, a poorly understood lysosomal membrane protein with homology to amino acid transporters. Here, we validate that SLC38A9 is an arginine sensor for the mTORC1 pathway, and we uncover an unexpectedly central role for SLC38A9 in amino acid homeostasis. SLC38A9 mediates the transport, in an arginine-regulated fashion, of many essential amino acids out of lysosomes, including leucine, which mTORC1 senses through the cytosolic Sestrin proteins. SLC38A9 is necessary for leucine generated via lysosomal proteolysis to exit lysosomes and activate mTORC1. Pancreatic cancer cells, which use macropinocytosed protein as a nutrient source, require SLC38A9 to form tumors. Thus, through SLC38A9, arginine serves as a lysosomal messenger that couples mTORC1 activation to the release from lysosomes of the essential amino acids needed to drive cell growth.

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Topics: Amino acid homeostasis (64%), Amino acid (61%), Leucine (59%) ... show more

166 Citations


Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.1016/J.TRECAN.2021.02.004
15 Mar 2021-Trends in cancer
Abstract: Overcoming anticancer drug resistance is a major challenge in cancer therapy, requiring innovative strategies that consider the extensive tumor heterogeneity and adaptability. We provide recent evidence highlighting the key role of amino acid (AA) metabolic reprogramming in cancer cells and the supportive microenvironment in driving resistance to anticancer therapies. AAs sustain the acquisition of anticancer resistance by providing essential building blocks for biosynthetic pathways and for maintaining a balanced redox status, and modulating the epigenetic profile of both malignant and non-malignant cells. In addition, AAs support the reduced intrinsic susceptibility of cancer stem cells to antineoplastic therapies. These findings shed new light on the possibility of targeting nonresponding tumors by modulating AA availability through pharmacological or dietary interventions.

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Topics: Cancer stem cell (54%)

5 Citations


Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.3390/METABO11010027
Go J. Yoshida1Institutions (1)
02 Jan 2021-Metabolites
Abstract: There is a growing body of evidence that metabolic reprogramming contributes to the acquisition and maintenance of robustness associated with malignancy. The fine regulation of expression levels of amino acid and monocarboxylate transporters enables cancer cells to exhibit the metabolic reprogramming that is responsible for therapeutic resistance. Amino acid transporters characterized by xCT (SLC7A11), ASCT2 (SLC1A5), and LAT1 (SLC7A5) function in the uptake and export of amino acids such as cystine and glutamine, thereby regulating glutathione synthesis, autophagy, and glutaminolysis. CD44 variant, a cancer stem-like cell marker, stabilizes the xCT antiporter at the cellular membrane, and tumor cells positive for xCT and/or ASCT2 are susceptible to sulfasalazine, a system Xc(-) inhibitor. Inhibiting the interaction between LAT1 and CD98 heavy chain prevents activation of the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) complex 1 by glutamine and leucine. mTOR signaling regulated by LAT1 is a sensor of dynamic alterations in the nutrient tumor microenvironment. LAT1 is overexpressed in various malignancies and positively correlated with poor clinical outcome. Metabolic reprogramming of glutamine occurs often in cancer cells and manifests as ASCT2-mediated glutamine addiction. Monocarboxylate transporters (MCTs) mediate metabolic symbiosis, by which lactate in cancer cells under hypoxia is exported through MCT4 and imported by MCT1 in less hypoxic regions, where it is used as an oxidative metabolite. Differential expression patterns of transporters cause functional intratumoral heterogeneity leading to the therapeutic resistance. Therefore, metabolic reprogramming based on these transporters may be a promising therapeutic target. This review highlights the pathological function and therapeutic targets of transporters including xCT, ASCT2, LAT1, and MCT.

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Topics: Monocarboxylate transporter (61%), Glutamine (56%), Glutaminolysis (55%) ... show more

4 Citations


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251 results found


Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.1093/JN/134.3.489
Guoyao Wu1, Yun-Zhong Fang, Sheng Yang2, Joanne R. Lupton1  +1 moreInstitutions (2)
Abstract: Glutathione (gamma-glutamyl-cysteinyl-glycine; GSH) is the most abundant low-molecular-weight thiol, and GSH/glutathione disulfide is the major redox couple in animal cells. The synthesis of GSH from glutamate, cysteine, and glycine is catalyzed sequentially by two cytosolic enzymes, gamma-glutamylcysteine synthetase and GSH synthetase. Compelling evidence shows that GSH synthesis is regulated primarily by gamma-glutamylcysteine synthetase activity, cysteine availability, and GSH feedback inhibition. Animal and human studies demonstrate that adequate protein nutrition is crucial for the maintenance of GSH homeostasis. In addition, enteral or parenteral cystine, methionine, N-acetyl-cysteine, and L-2-oxothiazolidine-4-carboxylate are effective precursors of cysteine for tissue GSH synthesis. Glutathione plays important roles in antioxidant defense, nutrient metabolism, and regulation of cellular events (including gene expression, DNA and protein synthesis, cell proliferation and apoptosis, signal transduction, cytokine production and immune response, and protein glutathionylation). Glutathione deficiency contributes to oxidative stress, which plays a key role in aging and the pathogenesis of many diseases (including kwashiorkor, seizure, Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, liver disease, cystic fibrosis, sickle cell anemia, HIV, AIDS, cancer, heart attack, stroke, and diabetes). New knowledge of the nutritional regulation of GSH metabolism is critical for the development of effective strategies to improve health and to treat these diseases.

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Topics: GPX1 (64%), Glutathione (62%), Glutathione disulfide (58%) ... show more

2,702 Citations


Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.1074/MCP.M113.035600
Linn Fagerberg1, Björn M. Hallström1, Per Oksvold1, Caroline Kampf2  +31 moreInstitutions (4)
Abstract: Global classification of the human proteins with regards to spatial expression patterns across organs and tissues is important for studies of human biology and disease. Here, we used a quantitative transcriptomics analysis (RNA-Seq) to classify the tissue-specific expression of genes across a representative set of all major human organs and tissues and combined this analysis with antibody-based profiling of the same tissues. To present the data, we launch a new version of the Human Protein Atlas that integrates RNA and protein expression data corresponding to ∼80% of the human protein-coding genes with access to the primary data for both the RNA and the protein analysis on an individual gene level. We present a classification of all human protein-coding genes with regards to tissue-specificity and spatial expression pattern. The integrative human expression map can be used as a starting point to explore the molecular constituents of the human body.

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Topics: Proteomics (55%), Gene expression profiling (55%), Human Protein Atlas (55%) ... show more

1,858 Citations


Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.1016/J.CELL.2013.12.010
16 Jan 2014-Cell
Abstract: Ferroptosis is a form of nonapoptotic cell death for which key regulators remain unknown. We sought a common mediator for the lethality of 12 ferroptosis-inducing small molecules. We used targeted metabolomic profiling to discover that depletion of glutathione causes inactivation of glutathione peroxidases (GPXs) in response to one class of compounds and a chemoproteomics strategy to discover that GPX4 is directly inhibited by a second class of compounds. GPX4 overexpression and knockdown modulated the lethality of 12 ferroptosis inducers, but not of 11 compounds with other lethal mechanisms. In addition, two representative ferroptosis inducers prevented tumor growth in xenograft mouse tumor models. Sensitivity profiling in 177 cancer cell lines revealed that diffuse large B cell lymphomas and renal cell carcinomas are particularly susceptible to GPX4-regulated ferroptosis. Thus, GPX4 is an essential regulator of ferroptotic cancer cell death.

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Topics: Cancer cell (52%), Programmed cell death (51%), Cell (50%)

1,726 Citations


Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.1038/NATURE12138
30 May 2013-Nature
Abstract: Macropinocytosis is a highly conserved endocytic process by which extracellular fluid and its contents are internalized into cells through large, heterogeneous vesicles known as macropinosomes. Oncogenic Ras proteins have been shown to stimulate macropinocytosis but the functional contribution of this uptake mechanism to the transformed phenotype remains unknown. Here we show that Ras-transformed cells use macropinocytosis to transport extracellular protein into the cell. The internalized protein undergoes proteolytic degradation, yielding amino acids including glutamine that can enter central carbon metabolism. Accordingly, the dependence of Ras-transformed cells on free extracellular glutamine for growth can be suppressed by the macropinocytic uptake of protein. Consistent with macropinocytosis representing an important route of nutrient uptake in tumours, its pharmacological inhibition compromises the growth of Ras-transformed pancreatic tumour xenografts. These results identify macropinocytosis as a mechanism by which cancer cells support their unique metabolic needs and point to the possible exploitation of this process in the design of anticancer therapies.

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Topics: Macropinosome (64%), Oncogene Protein p21(ras) (52%), Cancer cell (51%) ... show more

997 Citations


Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.1126/SCISIGNAL.2000464
Asif K. Mustafa1, Moataz M. Gadalla1, Nilkantha Sen1, Seyun Kim1  +6 moreInstitutions (2)
10 Nov 2009-Science Signaling
Abstract: Hydrogen sulfide (H2S), a messenger molecule generated by cystathionine gamma-lyase, acts as a physiologic vasorelaxant. Mechanisms whereby H2S signals have been elusive. We now show that H2S physiologically modifies cysteines in a large number of proteins by S-sulfhydration. About 10 to 25% of many liver proteins, including actin, tubulin, and glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPDH), are sulfhydrated under physiological conditions. Sulfhydration augments GAPDH activity and enhances actin polymerization. Sulfhydration thus appears to be a physiologic posttranslational modification for proteins.

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Topics: Protein sulfhydration (72%)

900 Citations


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