Metabolic reprogramming supports the invasive phenotype in malignant melanoma
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionCancer Letters. 2015, 366 (1), 71-83. 10.1016/j.canlet.2015.06.006
Invasiveness is a hallmark of aggressive cancer like malignant melanoma, and factors involved in acquisition or maintenance of an invasive phenotype are attractive targets for therapy. We investigated melanoma phenotype modulation induced by the metastasis-promoting microenvironmental protein S100A4, focusing on the relationship between enhanced cellular motility, dedifferentiation and metabolic changes. In poorly motile, well-differentiated Melmet 5 cells, S100A4 stimulated migration, invasion and simultaneously down-regulated differentiation genes and modulated expression of metabolism genes. Metabolic studies confirmed suppressed mitochondrial respiration and activated glycolytic flux in the S100A4 stimulated cells, indicating a metabolic switch toward aerobic glycolysis, known as the Warburg effect. Reversal of the glycolytic switch by dichloracetate induced apoptosis and reduced cell growth, particularly in the S100A4 stimulated cells. This implies that cells with stimulated invasiveness get survival benefit from the glycolytic switch and, therefore, become more vulnerable to glycolysis inhibition. In conclusion, our data indicate that transition to the invasive phenotype in melanoma involves dedifferentiation and metabolic reprogramming from mitochondrial oxidation to glycolysis, which facilitates survival of the invasive cancer cells. Therapeutic strategies targeting the metabolic reprogramming may therefore be effective against the invasive phenotype.