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Dev Cell. 2016 Mar 7;36(5):540-9. doi: 10.1016/j.devcel.2016.02.012.

Amino Acids Rather than Glucose Account for the Majority of Cell Mass in Proliferating Mammalian Cells.

Author information

1
Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA; Department of Biology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA.
2
Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA; Department of Biological Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA.
3
Department of Pathology, Microbiology, and Immunology, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, TN 37232, USA.
4
Division of Genetics, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, MA 02115, USA; Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, MA 02115, USA; Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA.
5
Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA; Department of Biology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA; Department of Medical Oncology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, MA 02115, USA. Electronic address: mvh@mit.edu.

Abstract

Cells must duplicate their mass in order to proliferate. Glucose and glutamine are the major nutrients consumed by proliferating mammalian cells, but the extent to which these and other nutrients contribute to cell mass is unknown. We quantified the fraction of cell mass derived from different nutrients and found that the majority of carbon mass in cells is derived from other amino acids, which are consumed at much lower rates than glucose and glutamine. While glucose carbon has diverse fates, glutamine contributes most to protein, suggesting that glutamine's ability to replenish tricarboxylic acid cycle intermediates (anaplerosis) is primarily used for amino acid biosynthesis. These findings demonstrate that rates of nutrient consumption are indirectly associated with mass accumulation and suggest that high rates of glucose and glutamine consumption support rapid cell proliferation beyond providing carbon for biosynthesis.

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PMID:
26954548
PMCID:
PMC4766004
DOI:
10.1016/j.devcel.2016.02.012
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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