Qinxi Li：IDH1 Mutation Promotes Tumorigenesis by Inhibiting JNK Activation and Apoptosis Induced by Serum Starvation
Summary:Two hallmarks of cancer cells are their resistance to apoptosis and ability to thrive despite reduced levels of vital serum components. c-jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) activation is crucial for apoptosis triggered by serum starvation (SS), and isocitrate dehydrogenase 1 (IDH1) mutations are tumorigenic, in part, because they produce the abnormal metabolite 2-hydroxyglutarate (2-HG). However, it is unknown whether 2-HG-induced tumorigenesis is partially due to JNK inhibition and thus defective SS-induced apoptosis. We show here, using IDH1-R132Q knockin mutant mouse cells, that 2-HG inhibits JNK activation induced only by SS and not by UV or doxorubicin, and thus can block apoptosis. Upon SS, Cdc42 normally disrupts mixed lineage kinase 3’s (MLK3’s) auto-inhibition, triggering the MLK3-MKK4/7-JNK-Bim apoptotic cascade. 2-HG binds to Cdc42 and abolishes its association with MLK3, inactivating MLK3 and apoptosis. Allograft tumor assays in mice demonstrate that this mechanism contributes to tumorigenesis driven by mutant IDH1, a result confirmed by detection of JNK inactivation in human gliomas harboring IDH1-R132H mutations.