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Cancer Discov. 2017 Apr;7(4):380-390. doi: 10.1158/2159-8290.CD-16-0612. Epub 2017 Mar 2.

PTEN Regulates Glutamine Flux to Pyrimidine Synthesis and Sensitivity to Dihydroorotate Dehydrogenase Inhibition.

Author information

1
Department of Oncological Sciences, Tisch Cancer Institute, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, New York.
2
Department of Integrated Cellular and Molecular Biology, Columbia University, New York, New York.
3
Department of Neurosurgery, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, New York.
4
Department of Pathology and Cell Biology and Institute for Cancer Genetics, Columbia University, New York, New York.
5
Division of Signal Transduction, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Department of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts.
6
Meyer Cancer Center, Weill Cornell Medical College, New York, New York.
7
Department of Oncological Sciences, Tisch Cancer Institute, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, New York. ramon.parsons@mssm.edu.

Abstract

Metabolic changes induced by oncogenic drivers of cancer contribute to tumor growth and are attractive targets for cancer treatment. Here, we found that increased growth of PTEN-mutant cells was dependent on glutamine flux through the de novo pyrimidine synthesis pathway, which created sensitivity to the inhibition of dihydroorotate dehydrogenase, a rate-limiting enzyme for pyrimidine ring synthesis. S-phase PTEN-mutant cells showed increased numbers of replication forks, and inhibitors of dihydroorotate dehydrogenase led to chromosome breaks and cell death due to inadequate ATR activation and DNA damage at replication forks. Our findings indicate that enhanced glutamine flux generates vulnerability to dihydroorotate dehydrogenase inhibition, which then causes synthetic lethality in PTEN-deficient cells due to inherent defects in ATR activation. Inhibition of dihydroorotate dehydrogenase could thus be a promising therapy for patients with PTEN-mutant cancers.Significance: We have found a prospective targeted therapy for PTEN-deficient tumors, with efficacy in vitro and in vivo in tumors derived from different tissues. This is based upon the changes in glutamine metabolism, DNA replication, and DNA damage response which are consequences of inactivation of PTENCancer Discov; 7(4); 380-90. ©2017 AACR.See related article by Brown et al., p. 391This article is highlighted in the In This Issue feature, p. 339.

PMID:
28255082
PMCID:
PMC5562025
DOI:
10.1158/2159-8290.CD-16-0612
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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