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Article

Loss of Fer Jeopardizes Metabolic Plasticity and Mitochondrial Homeostasis in Lung and Breast Carcinoma Cells

1
The Mina and Everard Goodman Faculty of Life-Sciences, Bar-Ilan University, Ramat-Gan 5290002, Israel
2
The Azrieli Faculty of Medicine, Bar-Ilan University, Safed 1311202, Israel
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Maria E. Mycielska and Eric Parkinson
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22(7), 3387; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms22073387
Received: 25 February 2021 / Revised: 18 March 2021 / Accepted: 22 March 2021 / Published: 25 March 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cancer Cell Metabolism)
Metabolic plasticity is a hallmark of the ability of metastatic cancer cells to survive under stressful conditions. The intracellular Fer kinase is a selective constituent of the reprogramed mitochondria and metabolic system of cancer cells. In the current work, we deciphered the modulatory roles of Fer in the reprogrammed metabolic systems of metastatic, lung (H358), non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), and breast (MDA-MB-231), triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC), carcinoma cells. We show that H358 cells devoid of Fer (H358ΔFer), strictly depend on glucose for their proliferation and growth, and fail to compensate for glucose withdrawal by oxidizing and metabolizing glutamine. Furthermore, glucose deficiency caused increased reactive oxygen species (ROS) production and induction of a DNA damage response (DDR), accompanied by the onset of apoptosis and attenuated cell-cycle progression. Analysis of mitochondrial function revealed impaired respiratory and electron transport chain (ETC) complex 1 (comp. I) activity in the Fer-deficient H358ΔFer cells. This was manifested by decreased levels of NAD+ and ATP and relatively low abundance of tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle metabolites. Impaired electron transport chain comp. I activity and dependence on glucose were also confirmed in Fer-deficient, MDA-MB-231ΔFer cells. Although both H358ΔFer and MDA-MB-231ΔFer cells showed a decreased aspartate level, this seemed to be compensated by the predominance of pyrimidines synthesis over the urea cycle progression. Notably, absence of Fer significantly impeded the growth of H358ΔFer and MDA-MB-231ΔFer xenografts in mice provided with a carb-deficient, ketogenic diet. Thus, Fer plays a key role in the sustention of metabolic plasticity of malignant cells. In compliance with this notion, targeting Fer attenuates the progression of H358 and MDA-MB-231 tumors, an effect that is potentiated by a glucose-restrictive diet. View Full-Text
Keywords: Fer; non-small cell lung cancer; triple-negative breast cancer; metabolic plasticity; Mitochondrial homeostasis Fer; non-small cell lung cancer; triple-negative breast cancer; metabolic plasticity; Mitochondrial homeostasis
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MDPI and ACS Style

Mehazri, L.; Shpungin, S.; Bel, S.; Nir, U. Loss of Fer Jeopardizes Metabolic Plasticity and Mitochondrial Homeostasis in Lung and Breast Carcinoma Cells. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22, 3387. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms22073387

AMA Style

Mehazri L, Shpungin S, Bel S, Nir U. Loss of Fer Jeopardizes Metabolic Plasticity and Mitochondrial Homeostasis in Lung and Breast Carcinoma Cells. International Journal of Molecular Sciences. 2021; 22(7):3387. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms22073387

Chicago/Turabian Style

Mehazri, Linoy, Sally Shpungin, Shai Bel, and Uri Nir. 2021. "Loss of Fer Jeopardizes Metabolic Plasticity and Mitochondrial Homeostasis in Lung and Breast Carcinoma Cells" International Journal of Molecular Sciences 22, no. 7: 3387. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms22073387

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