MUC1-C Oncoprotein Regulates Glycolysis and Pyruvate Kinase m2 Activity in Cancer Cells

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, United States of America.
PLoS ONE (Impact Factor: 3.53). 11/2011; 6(11):e28234. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0028234
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Aerobic glycolysis in cancer cells is regulated by multiple effectors that include Akt and pyruvate kinase M2 (PKM2). Mucin 1 (MUC1) is a heterodimeric glycoprotein that is aberrantly overexpressed by human breast and other carcinomas. Here we show that transformation of rat fibroblasts by the oncogenic MUC1-C subunit is associated with Akt-mediated increases in glucose uptake and lactate production, consistent with the stimulation of glycolysis. The results also demonstrate that the MUC1-C cytoplasmic domain binds directly to PKM2 at the B- and C-domains. Interaction between the MUC1-C cytoplasmic domain Cys-3 and the PKM2 C-domain Cys-474 was found to stimulate PKM2 activity. Conversely, epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR)-mediated phosphorylation of the MUC1-C cytoplasmic domain on Tyr-46 conferred binding to PKM2 Lys-433 and inhibited PKM2 activity. In human breast cancer cells, silencing MUC1-C was associated with decreases in glucose uptake and lactate production, confirming involvement of MUC1-C in the regulation of glycolysis. In addition, EGFR-mediated phosphorylation of MUC1-C in breast cancer cells was associated with decreases in PKM2 activity. These findings indicate that the MUC1-C subunit regulates glycolysis and that this response is conferred in part by PKM2. Thus, the overexpression of MUC1-C oncoprotein in diverse human carcinomas could be of importance to the Warburg effect of aerobic glycolysis.

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