KAT8-catalyzed lactylation promotes eEF1A2-mediated protein synthesis and colorectal carcinogenesis

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2024 Feb 20;121(8):e2314128121. doi: 10.1073/pnas.2314128121. Epub 2024 Feb 15.


Aberrant lysine lactylation (Kla) is associated with various diseases which are caused by excessive glycolysis metabolism. However, the regulatory molecules and downstream protein targets of Kla remain largely unclear. Here, we observed a global Kla abundance profile in colorectal cancer (CRC) that negatively correlates with prognosis. Among lactylated proteins detected in CRC, lactylation of eEF1A2K408 resulted in boosted translation elongation and enhanced protein synthesis which contributed to tumorigenesis. By screening eEF1A2 interacting proteins, we identified that KAT8, a lysine acetyltransferase that acted as a pan-Kla writer, was responsible for installing Kla on many protein substrates involving in diverse biological processes. Deletion of KAT8 inhibited CRC tumor growth, especially in a high-lactic tumor microenvironment. Therefore, the KAT8-eEF1A2 Kla axis is utilized to meet increased translational requirements for oncogenic adaptation. As a lactyltransferase, KAT8 may represent a potential therapeutic target for CRC.

Keywords: colorectal cancer; lactylation; lactyltransferase; protein synthesis.

MeSH terms

  • Carcinogenesis / genetics
  • Catalysis
  • Cell Transformation, Neoplastic
  • Colorectal Neoplasms* / genetics
  • Histone Acetyltransferases
  • Humans
  • Protein Biosynthesis*
  • Tumor Microenvironment


  • KAT8 protein, human
  • Histone Acetyltransferases