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GLUT1 inhibition blocks growth of RB1-positive triple negative breast cancer.

Wu Q, Ba-Alawi W, Deblois G, Cruickshank J, Duan S, Lima-Fernandes E, Haight J, Tonekaboni SAM, Fortier AM, Kuasne H, McKee TD, Mahmoud H, Kushida M, Cameron S, Dogan-Artun N, Chen W, Nie Y, Zhang LX, Vellanki RN, Zhou S, Prinos P, Wouters BG, Dirks PB, Done SJ, Park M, Cescon DW, Haibe-Kains B, Lupien M, Arrowsmith CH

Structural Genomics Consortium, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, M5G 1L7, Canada.

Triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) is a deadly form of breast cancer due to the development of resistance to chemotherapy affecting over 30% of patients. New therapeutics and companion biomarkers are urgently needed. Recognizing the elevated expression of glucose transporter 1 (GLUT1, encoded by SLC2A1) and associated metabolic dependencies in TNBC, we investigated the vulnerability of TNBC cell lines and patient-derived samples to GLUT1 inhibition. We report that genetic or pharmacological inhibition of GLUT1 with BAY-876 impairs the growth of a subset of TNBC cells displaying high glycolytic and lower oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) rates. Pathway enrichment analysis of gene expression data suggests that the functionality of the E2F pathway may reflect to some extent OXPHOS activity. Furthermore, the protein levels of retinoblastoma tumor suppressor (RB1) strongly correlate with the degree of sensitivity to GLUT1 inhibition in TNBC, where RB1-negative cells are insensitive to GLUT1 inhibition. Collectively, our results highlight a strong and targetable RB1-GLUT1 metabolic axis in TNBC and warrant clinical evaluation of GLUT1 inhibition in TNBC patients stratified according to RB1 protein expression levels.

Nat Commun 2020;11(1):4205.

Pubmed ID: 32826891

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