Therapeutic targeting of mitochondrial one-carbon metabolism in cancer
Molecular Cancer Therapeutics
One-carbon (1C) metabolism encompasses folate-mediated 1C transfer reactions and related processes, including nucleotide and amino acid biosynthesis, antioxidant regeneration, and epigenetic regulation. 1C pathways are compartmentalized in the cytosol, mitochondria, and nucleus. 1C metabolism in the cytosol has been an important therapeutic target for cancer since the inception of modern chemotherapy, and “antifolates” targeting cytosolic 1C pathways continue to be a mainstay of the chemotherapy armamentarium for cancer. Recent insights into the complexities of 1C metabolism in cancer cells, including the critical role of the mitochondrial 1C pathway as a source of 1C units, glycine, reducing equivalents, and ATP, have spurred the discovery of novel compounds that target these reactions, with particular focus on 5,10-methylene tetrahydrofolate dehydrogenase 2 and serine hydroxymethyltransferase 2. In this review, we discuss key aspects of 1C metabolism, with emphasis on the importance of mitochondrial 1C metabolism to metabolic homeostasis, its relationship with the oncogenic phenotype, and its therapeutic potential for cancer.
Dekhne, A., Hou, Z., Gangjee, A., & Matherly, L. (2020). Therapeutic targeting of mitochondrial one-carbon metabolism in cancer. Molecular Cancer Therapeutics, 19 (11), 2245-2255. https://doi.org/10.1158/1535-7163.MCT-20-0423