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      The glutathione redox system is essential to prevent ferroptosis caused by impaired lipid metabolism in clear cell renal cell carcinoma

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          Abstract

          <p class="first" id="P2">Metabolic reprogramming is a prominent feature of clear cell renal cell carcinoma (ccRCC). Here we investigated metabolic dependencies in a panel of ccRCC cell lines using nutrient depletion, functional RNAi screening and inhibitor treatment. We found that ccRCC cells are highly sensitive to the depletion of glutamine or cystine, two amino acids required for glutathione (GSH) synthesis. Moreover, silencing of enzymes of the GSH biosynthesis pathway or glutathione peroxidases, which depend on GSH for the removal of cellular hydroperoxides, selectively reduced viability of ccRCC cells but did not affect the growth of non-malignant renal epithelial cells. Inhibition of GSH synthesis triggered ferroptosis, an iron-dependent form of cell death associated with enhanced lipid peroxidation. <i>VHL</i> is a major tumour suppressor in ccRCC and loss of <i>VHL</i> leads to stabilisation of hypoxia inducible factors HIF-1α and HIF-2α. Restoration of functional <i>VHL</i> via exogenous expression of pVHL reverted ccRCC cells to an oxidative metabolism and rendered them insensitive to the induction of ferroptosis. <i>VHL</i> reconstituted cells also exhibited reduced lipid storage and higher expression of genes associated with oxidiative phosphorylation and fatty acid metabolism. Importantly, inhibition of β-oxidation or mitochondrial ATP-synthesis restored ferroptosis sensitivity in <i>VHL</i> reconstituted cells. We also found that inhibition of GSH synthesis blocked tumour growth in a MYC-dependent mouse model of renal cancer. Together, our data suggest that reduced fatty acid metabolism due to inhibition of β-oxidation renders renal cancer cells highly dependent on the GSH/GPX pathway to prevent lipid peroxidation and ferroptotic cell death. </p>

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          Ferroptosis: process and function.

          Ferroptosis is a recently recognized form of regulated cell death. It is characterized morphologically by the presence of smaller than normal mitochondria with condensed mitochondrial membrane densities, reduction or vanishing of mitochondria crista, and outer mitochondrial membrane rupture. It can be induced by experimental compounds (e.g., erastin, Ras-selective lethal small molecule 3, and buthionine sulfoximine) or clinical drugs (e.g., sulfasalazine, sorafenib, and artesunate) in cancer cells and certain normal cells (e.g., kidney tubule cells, neurons, fibroblasts, and T cells). Activation of mitochondrial voltage-dependent anion channels and mitogen-activated protein kinases, upregulation of endoplasmic reticulum stress, and inhibition of cystine/glutamate antiporter is involved in the induction of ferroptosis. This process is characterized by the accumulation of lipid peroxidation products and lethal reactive oxygen species (ROS) derived from iron metabolism and can be pharmacologically inhibited by iron chelators (e.g., deferoxamine and desferrioxamine mesylate) and lipid peroxidation inhibitors (e.g., ferrostatin, liproxstatin, and zileuton). Glutathione peroxidase 4, heat shock protein beta-1, and nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 function as negative regulators of ferroptosis by limiting ROS production and reducing cellular iron uptake, respectively. In contrast, NADPH oxidase and p53 (especially acetylation-defective mutant p53) act as positive regulators of ferroptosis by promotion of ROS production and inhibition of expression of SLC7A11 (a specific light-chain subunit of the cystine/glutamate antiporter), respectively. Misregulated ferroptosis has been implicated in multiple physiological and pathological processes, including cancer cell death, neurotoxicity, neurodegenerative diseases, acute renal failure, drug-induced hepatotoxicity, hepatic and heart ischemia/reperfusion injury, and T-cell immunity. In this review, we summarize the regulation mechanisms and signaling pathways of ferroptosis and discuss the role of ferroptosis in disease.
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            Hypoxia promotes isocitrate dehydrogenase-dependent carboxylation of α-ketoglutarate to citrate to support cell growth and viability.

            Citrate is a critical metabolite required to support both mitochondrial bioenergetics and cytosolic macromolecular synthesis. When cells proliferate under normoxic conditions, glucose provides the acetyl-CoA that condenses with oxaloacetate to support citrate production. Tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle anaplerosis is maintained primarily by glutamine. Here we report that some hypoxic cells are able to maintain cell proliferation despite a profound reduction in glucose-dependent citrate production. In these hypoxic cells, glutamine becomes a major source of citrate. Glutamine-derived α-ketoglutarate is reductively carboxylated by the NADPH-linked mitochondrial isocitrate dehydrogenase (IDH2) to form isocitrate, which can then be isomerized to citrate. The increased IDH2-dependent carboxylation of glutamine-derived α-ketoglutarate in hypoxia is associated with a concomitant increased synthesis of 2-hydroxyglutarate (2HG) in cells with wild-type IDH1 and IDH2. When either starved of glutamine or rendered IDH2-deficient by RNAi, hypoxic cells are unable to proliferate. The reductive carboxylation of glutamine is part of the metabolic reprogramming associated with hypoxia-inducible factor 1 (HIF1), as constitutive activation of HIF1 recapitulates the preferential reductive metabolism of glutamine-derived α-ketoglutarate even in normoxic conditions. These data support a role for glutamine carboxylation in maintaining citrate synthesis and cell growth under hypoxic conditions.
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              An Integrated Metabolic Atlas of Clear Cell Renal Cell Carcinoma.

              Dysregulated metabolism is a hallmark of cancer, manifested through alterations in metabolites. We performed metabolomic profiling on 138 matched clear cell renal cell carcinoma (ccRCC)/normal tissue pairs and found that ccRCC is characterized by broad shifts in central carbon metabolism, one-carbon metabolism, and antioxidant response. Tumor progression and metastasis were associated with metabolite increases in glutathione and cysteine/methionine metabolism pathways. We develop an analytic pipeline and visualization tool (metabolograms) to bridge the gap between TCGA transcriptomic profiling and our metabolomic data, which enables us to assemble an integrated pathway-level metabolic atlas and to demonstrate discordance between transcriptome and metabolome. Lastly, expression profiling was performed on a high-glutathione cluster, which corresponds to a poor-survival subgroup in the ccRCC TCGA cohort.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Oncogene
                Oncogene
                Springer Nature
                0950-9232
                1476-5594
                June 5 2018
                Article
                10.1038/s41388-018-0315-z
                6173300
                29872221
                368da9d8-dcbf-4275-9193-e65399eff887
                © 2018

                http://www.springer.com/tdm

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