Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, Vol.483, No.2, 860-866, 2017
NDRG2 overexpression suppresses hepatoma cells survival during metabolic stress through disturbing the activation of fatty acid oxidation
Because of the high nutrient consumption and inadequate vascularization, solid tumor constantly undergoes metabolic stress during tumor development. Oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes participated in cancer cells' metabolic reprogramming. N-Myc downstream regulated gene 2 (NDRG2) is a recently identified tumor suppressor gene, but its function in cancer metabolism, particularly during metabolic stress, remains unclear. In this study, we found that NDRG2 overexpression significantly reduced hepatoma cell proliferation and enhanced cell apoptosis under glucose limitation. Moreover, NDRG2 overexpression aggravated energy imbalance and oxidative stress by decreasing the intracellular ATP and NADPH generation and increasing ROS levels. Strikingly, NDRG2 inhibited the activation of fatty acid oxidation (FAO), which preserves ATP and NADPH purveyance in the absence of glucose. Finally, mechanistic investigation showed that NDRG2 overexpression suppressed the glucose-deprivation induced AMPK/ACC pathway activation in hepatoma cells, whereas the expression of a constitutively active form of AMPK abrogated glucose-deprivation induced AMPK activation and cell apoptosis. Thus, as a negative regulator of AMPK, NDRG2 disturbs the induction of FAO genes by glucose limitation, leading to dysregulation of ATP and NADPH, and thus reduces the tolerance of hepatoma cells to glucose limitation. (C) 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.