Low dose of 2-deoxy-D-glucose kills acute lymphoblastic leukemia cells and reverses glucocorticoid resistance via N-linked glycosylation inhibition under normoxia.

PMID 28415682


Recent studies showed that 2-deoxy-D-glucose (2-DG), a glucose analog with dual activity of inhibiting glycolysis and N-linked glycosylation, can be selectively taken up by cancer cells and be used as a potential chemo- and radio-sensitizer. Meanwhile, 2-DG can kill cancer cells under normoxia. However, its efficacy is limited by the high-dose induced systemic toxicity. Here, we showed that low-dose 2-DG could be used as a single agent to kill acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) cells, and as a GC sensitizer to overcome GC resistance under normoxia. Addition of exogenous mannose, a sugar essential for N-linked glycosylation, rescued 2-DG-treated ALL cells, indicating that inhibition of N-linked glycosylation and induction of endoplasmic reticulum stress is the main mechanism for 2-DG to induce cell death and reverse GC resistance in ALL cells. These data provides new insight into the molecular mechanisms involved in GC resistance. More important, it indicates that 2-DG might be the promising drug for designing novel high efficiency and low toxic protocol for ALL patients.