Monocarboxylate transporter antagonism reveals metabolic vulnerabilities of viral-driven lymphomas.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) is a ubiquitous herpesvirus that typically causes asymptomatic infection but can promote B lymphoid tumors in the immune suppressed. In vitro, EBV infection of primary B cells stimulates glycolysis during immortalization into lymphoblastoid cell lines (LCLs). Lactate export during glycolysis is crucial for continued proliferation of many cancer cells-part of a phenomenon known as the "Warburg effect"- and is mediated by monocarboxylate transporters (MCTs). However, the role of MCTs has yet to be studied in EBV-associated malignancies, which display Warburg-like metabolism in vitro. Here, we show that EBV infection of B lymphocytes directly promotes temporal induction of MCT1 and MCT4 through the viral proteins EBNA2 and LMP1, respectively. Functionally, MCT1 was required for early B cell proliferation, and MCT4 up-regulation promoted acquired resistance to MCT1 antagonism in LCLs. However, dual MCT1/4 inhibition led to LCL growth arrest and lactate buildup. Metabolic profiling in LCLs revealed significantly reduced oxygen consumption rates (OCRs) and NAD+/NADH ratios, contrary to previous observations of increased OCR and unaltered NAD+/NADH ratios in MCT1/4-inhibited cancer cells. Furthermore, U-13C6-glucose labeling of MCT1/4-inhibited LCLs revealed depleted glutathione pools that correlated with elevated reactive oxygen species. Finally, we found that dual MCT1/4 inhibition also sensitized LCLs to killing by the electron transport chain complex I inhibitors phenformin and metformin. These findings were extended to viral lymphomas associated with EBV and the related gammaherpesvirus KSHV, pointing at a therapeutic approach for targeting both viral lymphomas.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Bonglack, EN; Messinger, JE; Cable, JM; Ch'ng, J; Parnell, KM; Reinoso-Vizcaíno, NM; Barry, AP; Russell, VS; Dave, SS; Christofk, HR; Luftig, MA

Published Date

  • June 22, 2021

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 118 / 25

PubMed ID

  • 34161263

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC8237662

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1091-6490

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1073/pnas.2022495118


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States