Glioma-Derived Mutations in IDH1 Dominantly Inhibit IDH1 Catalytic Activity and Induce HIF-1α

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Science  10 Apr 2009:
Vol. 324, Issue 5924, pp. 261-265
DOI: 10.1126/science.1170944

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Heterozygous mutations in the gene encoding isocitrate dehydrogenase-1 (IDH1) occur in certain human brain tumors, but their mechanistic role in tumor development is unknown. We have shown that tumor-derived IDH1 mutations impair the enzyme's affinity for its substrate and dominantly inhibit wild-type IDH1 activity through the formation of catalytically inactive heterodimers. Forced expression of mutant IDH1 in cultured cells reduces formation of the enzyme product, α-ketoglutarate (α-KG), and increases the levels of hypoxia-inducible factor subunit HIF-1α, a transcription factor that facilitates tumor growth when oxygen is low and whose stability is regulated by α-KG. The rise in HIF-1α levels was reversible by an α-KG derivative. HIF-1α levels were higher in human gliomas harboring an IDH1 mutation than in tumors without a mutation. Thus, IDH1 appears to function as a tumor suppressor that, when mutationally inactivated, contributes to tumorigenesis in part through induction of the HIF-1 pathway.

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