Targeting Isocitrate Dehydrogenase Mutations in Cancer: Emerging Evidence and Diverging Strategies.
Isocitrate dehydrogenase (IDH) active-site mutations cause a neomorphic enzyme activity that results in the formation of supraphysiologic concentrations of D-2-hydroxyglutarate (D-2HG). D-2HG is thought to be an oncometabolite that drives the formation of cancers in a variety of tissue types by altering the epigenetic state of progenitor cells by inhibiting enzymes involved in histone and DNA demethylation. This model has led to the development of pharmacologic inhibitors of mutant IDH activity for anticancer therapy, which are now being tested in several clinical trials. Emerging evidence in preclinical glioma models suggests that the epigenetic changes induced by D-2HG may persist even after mutant IDH activity is inhibited and D-2HG has returned to basal levels. Therefore, these results have raised questions as to whether the exploitation of downstream synthetic lethal vulnerabilities, rather than direct inhibition of mutant IDH1, will prove to be a superior therapeutic strategy. In this review, we summarize the preclinical evidence in gliomas and other models on the induction and persistence of D-2HG-induced hypermethylation of DNA and histones, and we examine emerging lines of evidence related to altered DNA repair mechanisms in mutant IDH tumors and their potential for therapeutic exploitation.
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