Glycine Decarboxylase Activity Drives Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer Tumor-Initiating Cells and Tumorigenesis

Stem Cell and Developmental Biology, Genome Institute of Singapore, 60 Biopolis Street, Singapore 138672.
Cell (Impact Factor: 33.12). 01/2012; 148(1-2):259-72. DOI: 10.1016/j.cell.2011.11.050
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Identification of the factors critical to the tumor-initiating cell (TIC) state may open new avenues in cancer therapy. Here we show that the metabolic enzyme glycine decarboxylase (GLDC) is critical for TICs in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). TICs from primary NSCLC tumors express high levels of the oncogenic stem cell factor LIN28B and GLDC, which are both required for TIC growth and tumorigenesis. Overexpression of GLDC and other glycine/serine enzymes, but not catalytically inactive GLDC, promotes cellular transformation and tumorigenesis. We found that GLDC induces dramatic changes in glycolysis and glycine/serine metabolism, leading to changes in pyrimidine metabolism to regulate cancer cell proliferation. In the clinic, aberrant activation of GLDC correlates with poorer survival in lung cancer patients, and aberrant GLDC expression is observed in multiple cancer types. This link between glycine metabolism and tumorigenesis may provide novel targets for advancing anticancer therapy.

Download full-text


Available from: Moni Soroush, May 19, 2014
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Accumulating evidence suggests that cancer stem cells (CSCs) are heterogeneous populations and their phenotypes are unstable. A number of intrinsic and extrinsic mechanisms contribute to CSC phenotypic variation. The existence of various CSC subpopulations which would lead to a rapid relapse after primary treatments might pose a problem for CSC targeted therapeutics. In order to develop more effective approaches to cancer therapeutics, more CSC-related surface markers or targeting molecules, as well as some novel targeting strategies should be explored. This review summarized the origin and performance of heterogeneity in CSCs and discussed their therapeutic implications. Copyright © 2014. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd.
    Cancer Letters 11/2014; 357(1). DOI:10.1016/j.canlet.2014.11.040 · 5.02 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: It is increasingly appreciated that oncogenic transformation alters cellular metabolism to facilitate cell proliferation, but less is known about the metabolic changes that promote cancer cell aggressiveness. Here, we analyzed metabolic gene expression in cancer cell lines and found that a set of high-grade carcinoma lines expressing mesenchymal markers share a unique 44 gene signature, designated the "mesenchymal metabolic signature" (MMS). A FACS-based shRNA screen identified several MMS genes as essential for the epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT), but not for cell proliferation. Dihydropyrimidine dehydrogenase (DPYD), a pyrimidine-degrading enzyme, was highly expressed upon EMT induction and was necessary for cells to acquire mesenchymal characteristics in vitro and for tumorigenic cells to extravasate into the mouse lung. This role of DPYD was mediated through its catalytic activity and enzymatic products, the dihydropyrimidines. Thus, we identify metabolic processes essential for the EMT, a program associated with the acquisition of metastatic and aggressive cancer cell traits.
    Cell 08/2014; 158(5):1094-109. DOI:10.1016/j.cell.2014.07.032 · 33.12 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Previous work has shown that some cancer cells are highly dependent on serine/glycine uptake for proliferation. Although serine and glycine can be interconverted and either might be used for nucleotide synthesis and one-carbon metabolism, we show that exogenous glycine cannot replace serine to support cancer cell proliferation. Cancer cells selectively consumed exogenous serine, which was converted to intracellular glycine and one-carbon units for building nucleotides. Restriction of exogenous glycine or depletion of the glycine cleavage system did not impede proliferation. In the absence of serine, uptake of exogenous glycine was unable to support nucleotide synthesis. Indeed, higher concentrations of glycine inhibited proliferation. Under these conditions, glycine was converted to serine, a reaction that would deplete the one-carbon pool. Providing one-carbon units by adding formate rescued nucleotide synthesis and growth of glycine-fed cells. We conclude that nucleotide synthesis and cancer cell proliferation are supported by serine-rather than glycine-consumption.
    Cell Reports 05/2014; DOI:10.1016/j.celrep.2014.04.045 · 7.21 Impact Factor