Targeting stromal-induced pyruvate kinase M2 nuclear translocation impairs OXPHOS and prostate cancer metastatic spread Journal Articles uri icon

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  • Cancer associated fibroblasts (CAFs) are key determinants of cancer progression. In prostate carcinoma (PCa), CAFs induce epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) and metabolic reprogramming of PCa cells towards oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS), promoting tumor growth and metastatic dissemination. We herein establish a novel role for pyruvate kinase M2 (PKM2), an established effector of Warburg-like glycolytic behavior, in OXPHOS metabolism induced by CAFs. Indeed, CAFs promote PKM2 post-translational modifications, such as cysteine oxidation and Src-dependent tyrosine phosphorylation, allowing nuclear migration of PKM2 and the formation of a trimeric complex with hypoxia inducible factor-1α (HIF-1α) and the transcriptional repressor Differentially Expressed in Chondrocytes-1 (DEC1). DEC1 recruitment is mandatory for downregulating miR205 expression, thereby fostering EMT execution and metabolic switch toward OXPHOS. Furthermore, the analysis of a cohort of PCa patients reveals a significant positive correlation between PKM2 nuclear localization and cancer aggressiveness, thereby validating our in vitro observations. Crucially, in vitro and in vivo pharmacological targeting of PKM2 nuclear translocation using DASA-58, as well as metformin, impairs metastatic dissemination of PCa cells in SCID mice. Our study indicates that impairing the metabolic tumor:stroma interplay by targeting the PKM2/OXPHOS axis, may be a valuable novel therapeutic approach in aggressive prostate carcinoma.


  • Giannoni, Elisa
  • Taddei, Maria Letizia
  • Morandi, Andrea
  • Comito, Giuseppina
  • Calvani, Maura
  • Bianchini, Francesca
  • Richichi, Barbara
  • Raugei, Giovanni
  • Wong, Nicholas
  • Tang, Damu
  • Chiarugi, Paola

publication date

  • September 15, 2015

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