Loss of LKB1 is associated with increased metastasis and poor prognosis in lung cancer, but the development of targeted agents is in its infancy. Here we report that a glutaminolytic enzyme, glutamate dehydrogenase 1 (GDH1), upregulated upon detachment via pleomorphic adenoma gene 1 (PLAG1), provides anti-anoikis and pro-metastatic signals in LKB1-deficient lung cancer. Mechanistically, the GDH1 product α-KG activates CamKK2 by enhancing its substrate AMPK binding, which contributes to energy production that confers anoikis resistance. The effect of GDH1 on AMPK is evident in LKB1-deficient lung cancer, where AMPK activation predominantly depends on CamKK2. Targeting GDH1 with R162 attenuated tumor metastasis in patient-derived xenograft model and correlation studies in lung cancer patients further validated the clinical relevance of our finding. Our study provides insight into the molecular mechanism by which GDH1-mediated metabolic reprogramming of glutaminolysis mediates lung cancer metastasis and offers a therapeutic strategy for patients with LKB1-deficient lung cancer. Although elevated glutaminolysis has been demonstrated in cancer cells, the precise mechanism by which glutaminolysis promotes tumor metastasis remains unclear. In this article, Jin et al. demonstrate a mechanism by which GDH1 provides anti-anoikis and pro-metastatic signals through activating CamKK2 and AMPK that promotes tumor metastasis in LKB1-deficient lung cancer.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology
- Cell Biology
- LKB1 deficient