MYCN amplification drives the development of neuronal cancers in children and adults. Given the challenge in therapeutically targeting MYCN directly, we searched for MYCNactivated metabolic pathways as potential drug targets. Here we report that neuroblastoma cells with MYCN amplification show increased transcriptional activation of the serine-glycineone- carbon (SGOC) biosynthetic pathway and an increased dependence on this pathway for supplying glucose-derived carbon for serine and glycine synthesis. Small molecule inhibitors that block this metabolic pathway exhibit selective cytotoxicity to MYCN-amplified cell lines and xenografts by inducing metabolic stress and autophagy. Transcriptional activation of theSGOCpathway inMYCN-amplified cells requires both MYCN and ATF4, which form a positive feedback loop, with MYCN activation of ATF4 mRNA expression and ATF4 stabilization of MYCN protein by antagonizing FBXW7- mediated MYCN ubiquitination. Collectively, these findings suggest a coupled relationship between metabolic reprogramming and increased sensitivity to metabolic stress, which could be exploited as a strategy for selective cancer therapy. Significance: This study identifies a MYCN-dependent metabolic vulnerability and suggests a coupled relationship between metabolic reprogramming and increased sensitivity to metabolic stress, which could be exploited for cancer therapy.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research