The Journal of biological chemistry

A Late G1 Lipid Checkpoint That Is Dysregulated in Clear Cell Renal Carcinoma Cells.

PMID 27956548


Lipids are important nutrients that proliferating cells require to maintain energy homeostasis as well as to build plasma membranes for newly synthesized cells. Previously, we identified nutrient-sensing checkpoints that exist in the latter part of the G1 phase of the cell cycle that are dependent upon essential amino acids, Gln, and finally, a checkpoint mediated by mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR), which integrates signals from both nutrients and growth factors. In this study, we have identified and temporally mapped a lipid-mediated G1 checkpoint. This checkpoint is located after the Gln checkpoint and before the mTOR-mediated cell cycle checkpoint. Intriguingly, clear cell renal cell carcinoma cells (ccRCC) have a dysregulated lipid-mediated checkpoint due in part to defective phosphatase and tensin homologue (PTEN). When deprived of lipids, instead of arresting in G1, these cells continue to cycle and utilize lipid droplets as a source of lipids. Lipid droplets have been known to maintain endoplasmic reticulum homeostasis and prevent cytotoxic endoplasmic reticulum stress in ccRCC. Dysregulation of the lipid-mediated checkpoint forces these cells to utilize lipid droplets, which could potentially lead to therapeutic opportunities that exploit this property of ccRCC.