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J Biol Chem. 2019 Mar 18. pii: jbc.RA118.004365. doi: 10.1074/jbc.RA118.004365. [Epub ahead of print]

S100A4 alters metabolism and promotes invasion of lung cancer cells by up-regulating mitochondrial complex I protein NDUFS2.

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University of Kentucky, United States.
University of Kentucky.
Markey Cancer Center, University of Kentucky, United States.
Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry, University of Kentucky, United States.


It is generally accepted that alterations in metabolism are critical for the metastatic process; however, the mechanisms by which these metabolic changes are controlled by the major drivers of the metastatic process remain elusive. Here, we found that S100 calcium-binding protein A4 (S100A4), a major metastasis-promoting protein, confers metabolic plasticity to drive tumor invasion and metastasis of non-small cell lung cancer cells. Investigating how S100A4 regulates metabolism, we found that S100A4 depletion decreases oxygen consumption rates, mitochondrial activity, and ATP production and also shifts cell metabolism to higher glycolytic activity. We further identified that the 49 KD mitochondrial complex I subunit NADH dehydrogenase (ubiquinone) Fe-S protein 2 (NDUFS2) is regulated in an S100A4-dependent manner and that S100A4 and NDUFS2 exhibit co-occurrence at significant levels in various cancer types as determined by database-driven analysis of genomes in clinical samples using cBioPortal for Cancer Genomics. Importantly, we noted that S100A4 or NDUFS2 silencing inhibits mitochondrial complex I activity, reduces cellular ATP level, decreases invasive capacity in three-dimensional (3D) growth, and dramatically decreases metastasis rates as well as tumor growth in vivo. Finally, we provide evidence that cells depleted in S100A4 or NDUFS2 shift their metabolism toward glycolysis by up-regulating hexokinase expression and that suppressing S100A4 signaling sensitizes lung cancer cells to glycolysis inhibition. Our findings uncover a novel S100A4 function and highlight its importance in controlling NDUFS2 expression to regulate the plasticity of mitochondrial metabolism and thereby promote the invasive and metastatic capacity in lung cancer.


Fibroblast specific protein-1; NADH:ubiquinone oxidoreductase core subunit S2 (NDUFS2); S100 calcium-binding protein A4 (S100A4); S100 proteins; energy metabolism; glycolysis; invasion; lung cancer; metastasis; metastasis-1; mitochondria; mitochondrial complex I; mitochondrial respiratory chain complex

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