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Quantitative analysis of acetyl-CoA production in hypoxic cancer cells reveals substantial contribution from acetate

Author(s): Kamphorst, Jurre J.; Chung, Michelle K.; Fan, Jing; Rabinowitz, Joshua D.

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Abstract: Background: Cell growth requires fatty acids for membrane synthesis. Fatty acids are assembled from 2-carbon units in the form of acetyl-CoA (AcCoA). In nutrient and oxygen replete conditions, acetyl-CoA is predominantly derived from glucose. In hypoxia, however, flux from glucose to acetyl-CoA decreases, and the fractional contribution of glutamine to acetyl-CoA increases. The significance of other acetyl-CoA sources, however, has not been rigorouslyevaluated. Here we investigate quantitatively, using 13C-tracers and mass spectrometry, the sources of acetyl-CoA in hypoxia. Results: In normoxic conditions, cultured cells produced more than 90% of acetyl-CoA from glucose and glutamine-derived carbon. In hypoxic cells, this contribution dropped, ranging across cell lines from 50% to 80%. Thus, under hypoxia, one or more additional substrates significantly contribute to acetyl-CoA production. 13C tracer experiments revealed that neither amino acids nor fatty acids are the primary source of this acetyl-CoA. Instead, the main additional source is acetate. A large contribution from acetate occurs despite it being present in the medium at a low concentration (50–500 μM). Conclusions: Acetate is an important source of acetyl-CoA in hypoxia. Inhibition of acetate metabolism may impair tumor growth. Keywords: Acetate, Acetyl-CoA, Cancer metabolism, Fatty acids, Hypoxia, Lipogenesis, Mass spectrometry, Palmitate, 13C-tracing
Publication Date: 11-Dec-2014
Citation: Kamphorst, Jurre J., Chung, Michelle K., Fan, Jing, Rabinowitz, Joshua D. (2014). Quantitative analysis of acetyl-CoA production in hypoxic cancer cells reveals substantial contribution from acetate. Cancer & Metabolism, 2 (1), 23 - 23. doi:10.1186/2049-3002-2-23
DOI: doi:10.1186/2049-3002-2-23
ISSN: 2049-3002
Pages: 2:23,1-8
Type of Material: Journal Article
Journal/Proceeding Title: Cancer & Metabolism
Version: Final published version. This is an open access article.

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