Phosphoenolpyruvate Carboxykinase Maintains Glycolysis-driven Growth in Drosophila Tumors
Gregory, Stephen L
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Tumors frequently fail to pass on all their chromosomes correctly during cell division, and this chromosomal instability (CIN) causes irregular aneuploidy and oxidative stress in cancer cells. Our objective was to test knockdowns of metabolic enzymes in Drosophila to find interventions that could exploit the differences between normal and CIN cells to block CIN tumor growth without harming the host animal. We found that depleting by RNAi or feeding the host inhibitors against phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase (PEPCK) was able to block the growth of CIN tissue in a brat tumor explant model. Increasing NAD+ or oxidising cytoplasmic NADH was able to rescue the growth of PEPCK depleted tumors, suggesting a problem in clearing cytoplasmic NADH. Consistent with this, blocking the glycerol-3-phosphate shuttle blocked tumor growth, as well as lowering ROS levels. This work suggests that proliferating CIN cells are particularly vulnerable to inhibition of PEPCK, or its metabolic network, because of their compromised redox status.