Report

Disordered methionine metabolism in MTAP/CDKN2A-deleted cancers leads to dependence on PRMT5

Science  11 Mar 2016:
Vol. 351, Issue 6278, pp. 1208-1213
DOI: 10.1126/science.aad5944

You are currently viewing the abstract.

View Full Text

Via your Institution

Log in through your institution

Log in through your institution


Tumors put in a vulnerable position

Cancer cells often display alterations in metabolism that help fuel their growth. Such metabolic “rewiring” may also work against the cancer cells, however, by creating new vulnerabilities that can be exploited therapeutically. A variety of human tumors show changes in methionine metabolism caused by loss of the gene coding for 5-methylthioadenosine phosphorylase (MTAP). Mavrakis et al. and Kryukov et al. found that the loss of MTAP renders cancer cell lines sensitive to growth inhibition by compounds that suppress the activity of a specific arginine methyltransferase called PRMT5. Conceivably, drugs that inhibit PRMT5 activity could be developed into a tailored therapy for MTAP-deficient tumors.

Science, this issue pp. 1208 and 1214

Abstract

5-Methylthioadenosine phosphorylase (MTAP) is a key enzyme in the methionine salvage pathway. The MTAP gene is frequently deleted in human cancers because of its chromosomal proximity to the tumor suppressor gene CDKN2A. By interrogating data from a large-scale short hairpin RNA–mediated screen across 390 cancer cell line models, we found that the viability of MTAP-deficient cancer cells is impaired by depletion of the protein arginine methyltransferase PRMT5. MTAP-deleted cells accumulate the metabolite methylthioadenosine (MTA), which we found to inhibit PRMT5 methyltransferase activity. Deletion of MTAP in MTAP-proficient cells rendered them sensitive to PRMT5 depletion. Conversely, reconstitution of MTAP in an MTAP-deficient cell line rescued PRMT5 dependence. Thus, MTA accumulation in MTAP–deleted cancers creates a hypomorphic PRMT5 state that is selectively sensitized toward further PRMT5 inhibition. Inhibitors of PRMT5 that leverage this dysregulated metabolic state merit further investigation as a potential therapy for MTAP/CDKN2A-deleted tumors.

View Full Text