In silico gene expression analysis reveals glycolysis and acetate anaplerosis in IDH1 wild-type glioma and lactate and glutamate anaplerosis in IDH1-mutated glioma

Oncotarget. 2017 Jul 25;8(30):49165-49177. doi: 10.18632/oncotarget.17106.


Hotspot mutations in isocitrate dehydrogenase 1 (IDH1) initiate low-grade glioma and secondary glioblastoma and induce a neomorphic activity that converts α-ketoglutarate (α-KG) to the oncometabolite D-2-hydroxyglutarate (D-2-HG). It causes metabolic rewiring that is not fully understood. We investigated the effects of IDH1 mutations (IDH1MUT) on expression of genes that encode for metabolic enzymes by data mining The Cancer Genome Atlas. We analyzed 112 IDH1 wild-type (IDH1WT) versus 399 IDH1MUT low-grade glioma and 157 IDH1WT versus 9 IDH1MUT glioblastoma samples. In both glioma types, IDH1WT was associated with high expression levels of genes encoding enzymes that are involved in glycolysis and acetate anaplerosis, whereas IDH1MUT glioma overexpress genes encoding enzymes that are involved in the oxidative tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle. In vitro, we observed that IDH1MUT cancer cells have a higher basal respiration compared to IDH1WT cancer cells and inhibition of the IDH1MUT shifts the metabolism by decreasing oxygen consumption and increasing glycolysis. Our findings indicate that IDH1WT glioma have a typical Warburg phenotype whereas in IDH1MUT glioma the TCA cycle, rather than glycolytic lactate production, is the predominant metabolic pathway. Our data further suggest that the TCA in IDH1MUT glioma is driven by lactate and glutamate anaplerosis to facilitate production of α-KG, and ultimately D-2-HG. This metabolic rewiring may be a basis for novel therapies for IDH1MUT and IDH1WT glioma.

Keywords: glioma; glutamate; glycolysis; isocitrate dehydrogenase 1; metabolism.

MeSH terms

  • Citric Acid Cycle / genetics
  • Computational Biology / methods
  • Databases, Genetic
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Enzymologic
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic
  • Glioma / genetics*
  • Glioma / metabolism*
  • Glioma / pathology
  • Glucose Transporter Type 3 / genetics
  • Glucose Transporter Type 3 / metabolism
  • Glutamic Acid / metabolism*
  • Glycolysis / genetics
  • Humans
  • Isocitrate Dehydrogenase / genetics*
  • Lactic Acid / metabolism*
  • Metabolic Networks and Pathways
  • Mutation*
  • Oxygen / metabolism
  • Phenotype
  • Transcriptome


  • Glucose Transporter Type 3
  • Lactic Acid
  • Glutamic Acid
  • Isocitrate Dehydrogenase
  • IDH1 protein, human
  • Oxygen