By reducing global mRNA translation in several ways, 2-deoxyglucose lowers MCL-1 protein and sensitizes hemopoietic tumor cells to BH3 mimetic ABT737
Journal Title
Cell Death and Differentiation
Publication Type
Journal Article in press
Drugs targeting various pro-survival BCL-2 family members (''BH3 mimetics'') have efficacy in hemopoietic malignancies, but the non-targeted pro-survival family members can promote resistance. Pertinently, the sensitivity of some tumor cell lines to BH3 mimetic ABT737, which targets BCL-2, BCL-XL, and BCL-W but not MCL-1, is enhanced by 2-deoxyglucose (2DG). We found that 2DG augmented apoptosis induced by ABT737 in 3 of 8 human hemopoietic tumor cell lines, most strongly in pre-B acute lymphocytic leukemia cell line NALM-6, the focus of our mechanistic studies. Although 2DG can lower MCL-1 translation, how it does so is incompletely understood, in part because 2DG inhibits both glycolysis and protein glycosylation in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER). Its glycolysis inhibition lowered ATP and, through the AMPK/mTORC1 pathway, markedly reduced global protein synthesis, as did an ER integrated stress response. A dual reporter assay revealed that 2DG impeded not only cap-dependent translation but also elongation or cap-independent translation. MCL-1 protein fell markedly, whereas 12 other BCL-2 family members were unaffected. We ascribe the MCL-1 drop to the global fall in translation, exacerbated for mRNAs with a structured 5' untranslated region (5'UTR) containing potential regulatory motifs like those in MCL-1 mRNA and the short half-life of MCL-1 protein. Pertinently, 2DG downregulated two other short-lived oncoproteins, MYC and MDM2. Thus, our results support MCL-1 as a critical 2DG target, but also reveal multiple effects on global translation that may well also affect its promotion of apoptosis.
Springer Nature
WEHI Research Division(s)
Molecular Genetics Of Cancer
PubMed ID
Open Access at Publisher's Site
NHMRC Grants
Rights Notice
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Creation Date: 2019-01-15 08:46:10
Last Modified: 2019-01-15 08:52:28
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