Cytoplasmic proliferating cell nuclear antigen connects glycolysis and cell survival in acute myeloid leukemia

Sci Rep. 2016 Oct 19:6:35561. doi: 10.1038/srep35561.


Cytosolic proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA), a scaffolding protein involved in DNA replication, has been described as a key element in survival of mature neutrophil granulocytes, which are non-proliferating cells. Herein, we demonstrated an active export of PCNA involved in cell survival and chemotherapy resistance. Notably, daunorubicin-resistant HL-60 cells (HL-60R) have a prominent cytosolic PCNA localization due to increased nuclear export compared to daunorubicin-sensitive HL-60 cells (HL-60S). By interacting with nicotinamide phosphoribosyltransferase (NAMPT), a protein involved in NAD biosynthesis, PCNA coordinates glycolysis and survival, especially in HL-60R cells. These cells showed a dramatic increase in intracellular NAD+ concentration as well as glycolysis including increased expression and activity of hexokinase 1 and increased lactate production. Furthermore, this functional activity of cytoplasmic PCNA was also demonstrated in patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Our data uncover a novel pathway of nuclear export of PCNA that drives cell survival by increasing metabolism flux.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Survival
  • Cytosol / metabolism*
  • DNA Replication
  • Daunorubicin / therapeutic use
  • Drug Resistance
  • Glycolysis
  • HL-60 Cells
  • Hexokinase / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Leukemia, Myeloid, Acute / drug therapy
  • Leukemia, Myeloid, Acute / metabolism*
  • Leukemia, Myeloid, Acute / pathology
  • Nicotinamide Phosphoribosyltransferase / metabolism
  • Proliferating Cell Nuclear Antigen / genetics
  • Proliferating Cell Nuclear Antigen / metabolism*
  • Protein Binding
  • Protein Transport


  • Proliferating Cell Nuclear Antigen
  • Nicotinamide Phosphoribosyltransferase
  • HK1 protein, human
  • Hexokinase
  • Daunorubicin