O-GlcNAc transferase maintains metabolic homeostasis in response to CDK9 inhibition

Glycobiology. 2022 Aug 18;32(9):751-759. doi: 10.1093/glycob/cwac038.


Co-targeting of O-GlcNAc transferase (OGT) and the transcriptional kinase cyclin-dependent kinase 9 (CDK9) is toxic to prostate cancer cells. As OGT is an essential glycosyltransferase, identifying an alternative target showing similar effects is of great interest. Here, we used a multiomics approach (transcriptomics, metabolomics, and proteomics) to better understand the mechanistic basis of the combinatorial lethality between OGT and CDK9 inhibition. CDK9 inhibition preferentially affected transcription. In contrast, depletion of OGT activity predominantly remodeled the metabolome. Using an unbiased systems biology approach (weighted gene correlation network analysis), we discovered that CDK9 inhibition alters mitochondrial activity/flux, and high OGT activity is essential to maintain mitochondrial respiration when CDK9 activity is depleted. Our metabolite profiling data revealed that pantothenic acid (vitamin B5) is the metabolite that is most robustly induced by both OGT and OGT+CDK9 inhibitor treatments but not by CDK9 inhibition alone. Finally, supplementing prostate cancer cell lines with vitamin B5 in the presence of CDK9 inhibitor mimics the effects of co-targeting OGT and CDK9.

Keywords: O-GlcNAc transferase; cyclin-dependent kinase 9; metabolism; prostate cancer; systems biology.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Cyclin-Dependent Kinase 9*
  • Homeostasis
  • Humans
  • Male
  • N-Acetylglucosaminyltransferases / genetics
  • Pantothenic Acid
  • Prostatic Neoplasms* / metabolism


  • Pantothenic Acid
  • N-Acetylglucosaminyltransferases
  • O-GlcNAc transferase
  • CDK9 protein, human
  • Cyclin-Dependent Kinase 9