Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Proteome Res. 2016 Aug 5;15(8):2618-25. doi: 10.1021/acs.jproteome.6b00188. Epub 2016 Jul 22.

Suppression of MTHFD2 in MCF-7 Breast Cancer Cells Increases Glycolysis, Dependency on Exogenous Glycine, and Sensitivity to Folate Depletion.

Author information

  • 1Division of Cancer, Department of Surgery and Cancer, Imperial College London , Hammersmith Hospital, London, U.K.
  • 2Department of Cytogenetics and Genomics, Cyprus Institute of Neurology and Genetics , Nicosia, Cyprus.


Methylenetetrahydrofolate dehydrogenase (NAD(P)+ dependent) 2, methenyltetrahydrofolate cyclohydrolase (MTHFD2) is a mitochondrial enzyme involved in folate metabolism. A number of recent studies have highlighted this enzyme as being highly expressed in many solid tumors, including breast cancer, and to be correlated with poor survival. However, the metabolic functions of MTHFD2 in cancer cells have not been well-defined. To investigate the function of MTHFD2 in breast cancer cells, we generated and characterized MCF-7 cells with stable suppression of MTHFD2 expression using a combination of cellular assays and metabolic profiling. Loss of MTHFD2 caused MCF7 cells to become glycine auxotrophs, that is, reliant on exogenous glycine, and more sensitive to exogenous folate depletion. Another prominent metabolic alteration observed as a consequence of MTHFD2 suppression was a more glycolytic phenotype, consistent with widespread modifications of cellular metabolism. Collectively, these data suggest that targeting MTHFD2 activity is likely to influence multiple metabolic pathways in breast cancer and could be combined with a range of antimetabolite therapies.


MCF-7; MTHFD2; cancer; folate; glycine; glycolysis; metabolomics; shRNA

[PubMed - in process]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for American Chemical Society
    Loading ...
    Support Center