Lactate Rewrites the Metabolic Reprogramming of Uveal Melanoma Cells and Induces Quiescence Phenotype

Int J Mol Sci. 2022 Dec 20;24(1):24. doi: 10.3390/ijms24010024.


Uveal melanoma (UM), the most common primary intraocular cancer in adults, is among the tumors with poorer prognosis. Recently, the role of the oncometabolite lactate has become attractive due to its role as hydroxycarboxylic acid receptor 1 (HCAR1) activator, as an epigenetic modulator inducing lysine residues lactylation and, of course, as a glycolysis end-product, bridging the gap between glycolysis and oxidative phosphorylation. The aim of the present study was to dissect in UM cell line (92.1) the role of lactate as either a metabolite or a signaling molecule, using the known modulators of HCAR1 and of lactate transporters. Our results show that lactate (20 mM) resulted in a significant decrease in cell proliferation and migration, acting and switching cell metabolism toward oxidative phosphorylation. These results were coupled with increased euchromatin content and quiescence in UM cells. We further showed, in a clinical setting, that an increase in lactate transporters MCT4 and HCAR1 is associated with a spindle-shape histological type in UM. In conclusion, our results suggest that lactate metabolism may serve as a prognostic marker of UM progression and may be exploited as a potential therapeutic target.

Keywords: HCAR1; lactate; lactylation; metabolism; uveal melanoma.

MeSH terms

  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Humans
  • Lactic Acid / metabolism
  • Melanoma* / metabolism
  • Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled / metabolism
  • Signal Transduction
  • Uveal Neoplasms* / pathology


  • Lactic Acid
  • Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled

Supplementary concepts

  • Uveal melanoma