MiR-135 suppresses glycolysis and promotes pancreatic cancer cell adaptation to metabolic stress by targeting phosphofructokinase-1.
Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is one of the most lethal human cancers. It thrives in a nutrient-poor environment; however, the mechanisms by which PDAC cells undergo metabolic reprogramming to adapt to metabolic stress are still poorly understood. Here, we show that microRNA-135 is significantly increased in PDAC patient samples compared to adjacent normal tissue. Mechanistically, miR-135 accumulates specifically in response to glutamine deprivation and requires ROS-dependent activation of mutant p53, which directly promotes miR-135 expression. Functionally, we found miR-135 targets phosphofructokinase-1 (PFK1) and inhibits aerobic glycolysis, thereby promoting the utilization of glucose to support the tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle. Consistently, miR-135 silencing sensitizes PDAC cells to glutamine deprivation and represses tumor growth in vivo. Together, these results identify a mechanism used by PDAC cells to survive the nutrient-poor tumor microenvironment, and also provide insight regarding the role of mutant p53 and miRNA in pancreatic cancer cell adaptation to metabolic stresses.
Yang, Y; Ishak Gabra, MB; Hanse, EA; Lowman, XH; Tran, TQ; Li, H; Milman, N; Liu, J; Reid, MA; Locasale, JW; Gil, Z; Kong, M
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