Phosphofructokinase 1 Glycosylation Regulates Cell Growth and Metabolism
Cancer cells must satisfy the metabolic demands of rapid cell growth within a continually changing microenvironment. We demonstrated that the dynamic posttranslational modification of proteins by O-linked β-N-acetylglucosamine (O-GlcNAcylation) is a key metabolic regulator of glucose metabolism. O-GlcNAcylation was induced at serine 529 of phosphofructokinase 1 (PFK1) in response to hypoxia. Glycosylation inhibited PFK1 activity and redirected glucose flux through the pentose phosphate pathway, thereby conferring a selective growth advantage on cancer cells. Blocking glycosylation of PFK1 at serine 529 reduced cancer cell proliferation in vitro and impaired tumor formation in vivo. These studies reveal a previously uncharacterized mechanism for the regulation of metabolic pathways in cancer and a possible target for therapeutic intervention.