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Rewiring of purine metabolism in response to acidosis stress in glioma stem cells.

Cell death & disease (2021-03-17)
Xiaoyu Xu, Liping Wang, Qingce Zang, Shanshan Li, Limei Li, Zhixing Wang, Jiuming He, Boqin Qiang, Wei Han, Ruiping Zhang, Xiaozhong Peng, Zeper Abliz

Glioma stem cells (GSCs) contribute to therapy resistance and poor outcomes for glioma patients. A significant feature of GSCs is their ability to grow in an acidic microenvironment. However, the mechanism underlying the rewiring of their metabolism in low pH remains elusive. Here, using metabolomics and metabolic flux approaches, we cultured GSCs at pH 6.8 and pH 7.4 and found that cells cultured in low pH exhibited increased de novo purine nucleotide biosynthesis activity. The overexpression of glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase, encoded by G6PD or H6PD, supports the metabolic dependency of GSCs on nucleotides when cultured under acidic conditions, by enhancing the pentose phosphate pathway (PPP). The high level of reduced glutathione (GSH) under acidic conditions also causes demand for the PPP to provide NADPH. Taken together, upregulation of G6PD/H6PD in the PPP plays an important role in acidic-driven purine metabolic reprogramming and confers a predilection toward glioma progression. Our findings indicate that targeting G6PD/H6PD, which are closely related to glioma patient survival, may serve as a promising therapeutic target for improved glioblastoma therapeutics. An integrated metabolomics and metabolic flux analysis, as well as considering microenvironment and cancer stem cells, provide a precise insight into understanding cancer metabolic reprogramming.

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Adenosine 5′-monophosphate disodium salt, ≥99.0% (HPLC)