Exogenous and Endogenous Sources of Serine Contribute to Colon Cancer Metabolism, Growth, and Resistance to 5-Fluorouracil.

TitleExogenous and Endogenous Sources of Serine Contribute to Colon Cancer Metabolism, Growth, and Resistance to 5-Fluorouracil.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2021
AuthorsMontrose DC, Saha S, Foronda M, McNally EM, Chen J, Zhou XKathy, Ha T, Krumsiek J, Buyukozkan M, Verma A, Elemento O, Yantiss RK, Chen Q, Gross SS, Galluzzi L, Dow LE, Dannenberg AJ
JournalCancer Res
Date Published2021 May 01

Serine is a nonessential amino acid generated by the sequential actions of phosphoglycerate dehydrogenase (PHGDH), phosphoserine aminotransferase (PSAT1), and phosphoserine phosphatase (PSPH). Increased serine biosynthesis occurs in several cancers and supports tumor growth. In addition, cancer cells can harness exogenous serine to enhance their metabolism and proliferation. Here we tested the relative contributions of exogenous and endogenous sources of serine on the biology of colorectal cancer. In murine tumors, status was identified as a determinant of the expression of genes controlling serine synthesis. In patient samples, PSAT1 was overexpressed in both colorectal adenomas and adenocarcinomas. Combining genetic deletion of with exogenous serine deprivation maximally suppressed the proliferation of colorectal cancer cells and induced profound metabolic defects including diminished nucleotide production. Inhibition of serine synthesis enhanced the transcriptional changes following exogenous serine removal as well as alterations associated with DNA damage. Both loss of PSAT1 and removal of serine from the diet were necessary to suppress colorectal cancer xenograft growth and enhance the antitumor activity of 5-fluorouracil (5-FU). Restricting endogenous and exogenous serine augmented 5-FU-induced cell death, DNA damage, and metabolic perturbations, likely accounting for the observed antitumor effect. Collectively, our results suggest that both endogenous and exogenous sources of serine contribute to colorectal cancer growth and resistance to 5-FU. SIGNIFICANCE: These findings provide insights into the metabolic requirements of colorectal cancer and reveal a novel approach for its treatment. GRAPHICAL ABSTRACT: http://cancerres.aacrjournals.org/content/canres/81/9/2275/F1.large.jpg.

Alternate JournalCancer Res
PubMed ID33526512
PubMed Central IDPMC8137552
Grant ListK22 CA226033 / CA / NCI NIH HHS / United States