Snail acetylation by autophagy-derived acetyl-coenzyme A promotes invasion and metastasis of KRAS-LKB1 co-mutated lung cancer cells

Jang Hee Han, Yong Keon Kim, Hakhyun Kim, Jooyoung Lee, Myung Joon Oh, Sang Bum Kim, Minjee Kim, Kook Hwan Kim, Hyun Ju Yoon, Myung Shik Lee, John D. Minna, Michael A. White, Hyun Seok Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Autophagy is elevated in metastatic tumors and is often associated with active epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT). However, the extent to which EMT is dependent on autophagy is largely unknown. This study aimed to identify the mechanisms by which autophagy facilitates EMT. Methods: We employed a liquid chromatography-based metabolomic approach with kirsten rat sarcoma viral oncogene (KRAS) and liver kinase B1 (LKB1) gene co-mutated (KL) cells that represent an autophagy/EMT-coactivated invasive lung cancer subtype for the identification of metabolites linked to autophagy-driven EMT activation. Molecular mechanisms of autophagy-driven EMT activation were further investigated by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR), Western blotting analysis, immunoprecipitation, immunofluorescence staining, and metabolite assays. The effects of chemical and genetic perturbations on autophagic flux were assessed by two orthogonal approaches: microtubule-associated protein 1A/1B-light chain 3 (LC3) turnover analysis by Western blotting and monomeric red fluorescent protein-green fluorescent protein (mRFP-GFP)-LC3 tandem fluorescent protein quenching assay. Transcription factor EB (TFEB) activity was measured by coordinated lysosomal expression and regulation (CLEAR) motif-driven luciferase reporter assay. Experimental metastasis (tail vein injection) mouse models were used to evaluate the impact of calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase kinase 2 (CAMKK2) or ATP citrate lyase (ACLY) inhibitors on lung metastasis using IVIS luciferase imaging system. Results: We found that autophagy in KL cancer cells increased acetyl-coenzyme A (acetyl-CoA), which facilitated the acetylation and stabilization of the EMT-inducing transcription factor Snail. The autophagy/acetyl-CoA/acetyl-Snail axis was further validated in tumor tissues and in autophagy-activated pancreatic cancer cells. TFEB acetylation in KL cancer cells sustained pro-metastatic autophagy in a mammalian target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1)-independent manner. Pharmacological inhibition of this axis via CAMKK2 inhibitors or ACLY inhibitors consistently reduced the metastatic capacity of KL cancer cells in vivo. Conclusions: This study demonstrates that autophagy-derived acetyl-CoA promotes Snail acetylation and thereby facilitates invasion and metastasis of KRAS-LKB1 co-mutated lung cancer cells and that inhibition of the autophagy/acetyl-CoA/acetyl-Snail axis using CAMKK2 or ACLY inhibitors could be a potential therapeutic strategy to suppress metastasis of KL lung cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)716-749
Number of pages34
JournalCancer Communications
Volume42
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2022

Keywords

  • acetyl-coenzyme A
  • acetyl-snail
  • ACLY
  • autophagy
  • CAMKK2
  • epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition
  • KRAS inhibitor
  • metastasis
  • non-small-cell lung cancer
  • pancreatic cancer
  • snail

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Snail acetylation by autophagy-derived acetyl-coenzyme A promotes invasion and metastasis of KRAS-LKB1 co-mutated lung cancer cells'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this