Adenocarcinoma (ADC) and squamous cell carcinoma (SqCC) are the two predominant subtypes of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and are distinct in their histological, molecular and clinical presentation. However, metabolic signatures specific to individual NSCLC subtypes remain unknown. Here, we perform an integrative analysis of human NSCLC tumour samples, patient-derived xenografts, murine model of NSCLC, NSCLC cell lines and The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) and reveal a markedly elevated expression of the GLUT1 glucose transporter in lung SqCC, which augments glucose uptake and glycolytic flux. We show that a critical reliance on glycolysis renders lung SqCC vulnerable to glycolytic inhibition, while lung ADC exhibits significant glucose independence. Clinically, elevated GLUT1-mediated glycolysis in lung SqCC strongly correlates with high 18 F-FDG uptake and poor prognosis. This previously undescribed metabolic heterogeneity of NSCLC subtypes implicates significant potential for the development of diagnostic, prognostic and targeted therapeutic strategies for lung SqCC, a cancer for which existing therapeutic options are clinically insufficient.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Physics and Astronomy(all)