Macropinocytosis of protein is an amino acid supply route in Ras-transformed cells

Commisso, C. et al. (2013) Macropinocytosis of protein is an amino acid supply route in Ras-transformed cells. Nature, 497(7451), pp. 633-637. (doi:10.1038/nature12138)

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Abstract

Macropinocytosis is a highly conserved endocytic process by which extracellular fluid and its contents are internalized into cells through large, heterogeneous vesicles known as macropinosomes. Oncogenic Ras proteins have been shown to stimulate macropinocytosis but the functional contribution of this uptake mechanism to the transformed phenotype remains unknown1, 2, 3. Here we show that Ras-transformed cells use macropinocytosis to transport extracellular protein into the cell. The internalized protein undergoes proteolytic degradation, yielding amino acids including glutamine that can enter central carbon metabolism. Accordingly, the dependence of Ras-transformed cells on free extracellular glutamine for growth can be suppressed by the macropinocytic uptake of protein. Consistent with macropinocytosis representing an important route of nutrient uptake in tumours, its pharmacological inhibition compromises the growth of Ras-transformed pancreatic tumour xenografts. These results identify macropinocytosis as a mechanism by which cancer cells support their unique metabolic needs and point to the possible exploitation of this process in the design of anticancer therapies.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Kamphorst, Dr Jurre
Authors: Commisso, C., Davidson, S.M., Soydaner-Azeloglu, R.G., Parker, S.J., Kamphorst, J.J., Hackett, S., Grabocka, E., Nofal, M., Drebin, J.A., Thompson, C.B., Rabinowitz, J.D., Metallo, C.M., Vander Heiden, M.G., and Bar-Sagi, D.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Cancer Sciences
Journal Name:Nature
Publisher:Nature Publishing Group
ISSN:0028-0836
ISSN (Online):1476-4687

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