The Folate Cycle Enzyme MTHFR is a Critical Regulator of Cell Response to MYC-Targeting Therapies.

Published online

Journal Article

Deciphering the impact of metabolic intervention on response to anticancer therapy may elucidate a path toward improved clinical responses. Here, we identify amino acid-related pathways connected to the folate cycle whose activation predicts sensitivity to MYC-targeting therapies in acute myeloid leukemia (AML). We establish that folate restriction and deficiency of the rate-limiting folate cycle enzyme, MTHFR - which exhibits reduced-function polymorphisms in about 10% of Caucasians - induce resistance to MYC targeting by BET and CDK7 inhibitors in cell lines, primary patient samples, and syngeneic mouse models of AML. Further, this effect is abrogated by supplementation with the MTHFR enzymatic product, CH3-THF. Mechanistically, folate cycle disturbance reduces H3K27/K9 histone methylation and activates a SPI1 transcriptional program counteracting the effect of BET inhibition. Our data provide a rationale for screening MTHFR polymorphisms and the folate cycle status to nominate patients most likely to benefit from MYC-targeting therapies.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Su, A; Ling, F; Vaganay, C; Sodaro, G; Benaksas, C; Dal Bello, R; Forget, A; Pardieu, B; Lin, KH; Rutter, JC; Bassil, CF; Fortin, G; Pasanisi, J; Antony-Debre, I; Alexe, G; Benoist, J-F; Pruvost, A; Pikman, Y; Qi, J; Schlageter, M-H; Micol, J-B; Roti, G; Cluzeau, T; Dombret, H; Preudhomme, C; Fenouille, N; Benajiba, L; Golan, HM; Stegmaier, K; Lobry, C; Wood, KC; Itzykson, R; Puissant, A

Published Date

  • August 21, 2020

Published In

PubMed ID

  • 32826232

Pubmed Central ID

  • 32826232

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 2159-8290

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1158/2159-8290.CD-19-0970


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States