Targeting One Carbon Metabolism with an Antimetabolite Disrupts Pyrimidine Homeostasis and Induces Nucleotide Overflow.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Antimetabolites that affect nucleotide metabolism are frontline chemotherapy agents in several cancers and often successfully target one carbon metabolism. However, the precise mechanisms and resulting determinants of their therapeutic value are unknown. We show that 5-fluorouracil (5-FU), a commonly used antimetabolite therapeutic with varying efficacy, induces specific alterations to nucleotide metabolism by disrupting pyrimidine homeostasis. An integrative metabolomics analysis of the cellular response to 5-FU reveals intracellular uracil accumulation, whereas deoxyuridine levels exhibited increased flux into the extracellular space, resulting in an induction of overflow metabolism. Subsequent analysis from mice bearing colorectal tumors treated with 5-FU show specific secretion of metabolites in tumor-bearing mice into serum that results from alterations in nucleotide flux and reduction in overflow metabolism. Together, these findings identify a determinant of an antimetabolite response that may be exploited to more precisely define the tumors that could respond to targeting cancer metabolism.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Ser, Z; Gao, X; Johnson, C; Mehrmohamadi, M; Liu, X; Li, S; Locasale, JW

Published Date

  • June 14, 2016

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 15 / 11

Start / End Page

  • 2367 - 2376

PubMed ID

  • 27264180

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC4909568

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 2211-1247

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.celrep.2016.05.035


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States