Itaconic acid (ITA), or methylenesuccinic acid, is not generally classified as a mammalian metabolite. Using NMR-based metabolomics and 13C-labeling, we have detected ITA in both macrophage-like VM-M3 and RAW 264.7 tumor cell lines as well as stimulated and unstimulated primary murine macrophages. Macrophage activation by addition of lipopolysaccharide and IFN-γ markedly increased ITA production and secretion. Crude cell extracts synthesize ITA via decarboxylation of cis-aconitate, indicative of a novel mammalian cis-aconitic decarboxylase activity. Our results highlight a previously unidentified biosynthetic pathway related to TCA cycle metabolism in mammalian cells and a novel metabolite that likely plays a role in macrophage-based immune response.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Colloid and Surface Chemistry