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Oncotarget

Mitochondrial pyruvate carrier function determines cell stemness and metabolic reprogramming in cancer cells.


PMID 28624784

Abstract

One of the remarkable features of cancer cells is aerobic glycolysis, a phenomenon known as the "Warburg Effect", in which cells rely preferentially on glycolysis instead of oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) as the main energy source even in the presence of high oxygen tension. Cells with dysfunctional mitochondria are unable to generate sufficient ATP from mitochondrial OXPHOS, and then are forced to rely on glycolysis for ATP generation. Here we report our results in a prostate cancer cell line in which the mitochondrial pyruvate carrier 1 (MPC1) gene was knockout. It was discovered that the MPC1 gene knockout cells revealed a metabolism reprogramming to aerobic glycolysis with reduced ATP production, and the cells became more migratory and resistant to both chemotherapy and radiotherapy. In addition, the MPC1 knockout cells expressed significantly higher levels of the stemness markers Nanog, Hif1α, Notch1, CD44 and ALDH. To further verify the correlation of MPC gene function and cell stemness/metabolic reprogramming, MPC inhibitor UK5099 was applied in two ovarian cancer cell lines and similar results were obtained. Taken together, our results reveal that functional MPC may determine the fate of metabolic program and the stemness status of cancer cells in vitro.

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