Mitochondria undergo fission and fusion to maintain homeostasis, and tumors exhibit the dysregulation of mitochondrial dynamics. We recently demonstrated that ectopic HRasG12V promotes mitochondrial fragmentation and tumor growth through Erk phosphorylation of the mitochondrial fission GTPase Dynamin-related protein 1 (Drp1). However, the role of Drp1 in the setting of endogenous oncogenic KRas remains unknown. Here, we show that Drp1 is required for KRas-driven anchorage-independent growth in fibroblasts and patient-derived pancreatic cancer cell lines, and it promotes glycolytic flux, in part through the regulation of hexokinase 2 (HK2). Furthermore, Drp1 deletion imparts a significant survival advantage in a model of KRas-driven pancreatic cancer, and tumors exhibit a strong selective pressure against complete Drp1 deletion. Rare tumors that arise in the absence of Drp1 have restored glycolysis but exhibit defective mitochondrial metabolism. This work demonstrates that Drp1 plays dual roles in KRas-driven tumor growth: supporting both glycolysis and mitochondrial function through independent mechanisms.
Keywords: Drp1; KRas; metabolism; mitochondria; pancreatic cancer.
Copyright © 2019 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.