Oncogenic mutations in isocitrate dehydrogenase 1 and 2 (IDH1/2) occur in several types of cancer, but the metabolic consequences of these genetic changes are not fully understood. In this study, we performed (13)C metabolic flux analysis on a panel of isogenic cell lines containing heterozygous IDH1/2 mutations. We observed that under hypoxic conditions, IDH1-mutant cells exhibited increased oxidative tricarboxylic acid metabolism along with decreased reductive glutamine metabolism, but not IDH2-mutant cells. However, selective inhibition of mutant IDH1 enzyme function could not reverse the defect in reductive carboxylation activity. Furthermore, this metabolic reprogramming increased the sensitivity of IDH1-mutant cells to hypoxia or electron transport chain inhibition in vitro. Lastly, IDH1-mutant cells also grew poorly as subcutaneous xenografts within a hypoxic in vivo microenvironment. Together, our results suggest therapeutic opportunities to exploit the metabolic vulnerabilities specific to IDH1 mutation.
©2014 American Association for Cancer Research.