Shmt2: A Stat3 Signaling New Player in Prostate Cancer Energy Metabolism

I. Marrocco, F. Altieri, E. Rubini, G. Paglia, S. Chichiarelli, F. Giamogante, A. Macone, G. Perugia, F. M. Magliocca, A. Gurtner, B. Maras, R. Ragno, A. Patsilinakos, R. Manganaro, M. Eufemi

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Prostate cancer (PCa) is a multifactorial disease characterized by the aberrant activity of different regulatory pathways. STAT3 protein mediates some of these pathways and its activation is implicated in the modulation of several metabolic enzymes. A bioinformatic analysis indicated a STAT3 binding site in the upstream region of SHMT2 gene. We demonstrated that in LNCaP, PCa cells' SHMT2 expression is upregulated by the JAK2/STAT3 canonical pathway upon IL-6 stimulation. Activation of SHTM2 leads to a decrease in serine levels, pushing PKM2 towards the nuclear compartment where it can activate STAT3 in a non-canonical fashion that in turn promotes a transient shift toward anaerobic metabolism. These results were also confirmed on FFPE prostate tissue sections at different Gleason scores. STAT3/SHMT2/PKM2 loop in LNCaP cells can modulate a metabolic shift in response to inflammation at early stages of cancer progression, whereas a non-canonical STAT3 activation involving the STAT3/HIF-1alpha/PKM2 loop is responsible for the maintenance of Warburg effect distinctive of more aggressive PCa cells. Chronic inflammation might thus prime the transition of PCa cells towards more advanced stages, and SHMT2 could represent a missing factor to further understand the molecular mechanisms responsible for the transition of prostate cancer towards a more aggressive phenotype.
Original languageItalian
Pages (from-to)E1048
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2019

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