Send to

Choose Destination
Mol Cancer Res. 2017 Aug;15(8):1017-1028. doi: 10.1158/1541-7786.MCR-16-0480. Epub 2017 May 15.

Glutamine Transporters Are Targets of Multiple Oncogenic Signaling Pathways in Prostate Cancer.

Author information

Center for Nuclear Receptors and Cell Signaling, Department of Biology and Biochemistry, University of Houston, Houston, Texas.
Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas.
Center for Nuclear Receptors and Cell Signaling, Department of Biology and Biochemistry, University of Houston, Houston, Texas.
Molecular Medicine Program, The Houston Methodist Research Institute, Houston, Texas.


Despite the known importance of androgen receptor (AR) signaling in prostate cancer, the processes downstream of AR that drive disease development and progression remain poorly understood. This knowledge gap has thus limited the ability to treat cancer. Here, it is demonstrated that androgens increase the metabolism of glutamine in prostate cancer cells. This metabolism was required for maximal cell growth under conditions of serum starvation. Mechanistically, AR signaling promoted glutamine metabolism by increasing the expression of the glutamine transporters SLC1A4 and SLC1A5, genes commonly overexpressed in prostate cancer. Correspondingly, gene expression signatures of AR activity correlated with SLC1A4 and SLC1A5 mRNA levels in clinical cohorts. Interestingly, MYC, a canonical oncogene in prostate cancer and previously described master regulator of glutamine metabolism, was only a context-dependent regulator of SLC1A4 and SLC1A5 levels, being unable to regulate either transporter in PTEN wild-type cells. In contrast, rapamycin was able to decrease the androgen-mediated expression of SLC1A4 and SLC1A5 independent of PTEN status, indicating that mTOR complex 1 (mTORC1) was needed for maximal AR-mediated glutamine uptake and prostate cancer cell growth. Taken together, these data indicate that three well-established oncogenic drivers (AR, MYC, and mTOR) function by converging to collectively increase the expression of glutamine transporters, thereby promoting glutamine uptake and subsequent prostate cancer cell growth.Implications: AR, MYC, and mTOR converge to increase glutamine uptake and metabolism in prostate cancer through increasing the levels of glutamine transporters. Mol Cancer Res; 15(8); 1017-28. ©2017 AACR.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center