A Drosophila model of combined D-2- and L-2-hydroxyglutaric aciduria reveals a mechanism linking mitochondrial citrate export with oncometabolite accumulation

The enantiomers of 2-hydroxyglutarate (2HG) are potent regulators of metabolism, chromatin modifications and cell fate decisions. Although these compounds are associated with tumor metabolism and commonly referred to as oncometabolites, both D- and L-2HG are also synthesized by healthy cells and likely serve endogenous functions. The metabolic mechanisms that control 2HG metabolism in vivo are poorly understood. One clue towards how cells regulate 2HG levels has emerged from an inborn error of metabolism known as combined D- and L-2HG aciduria (D-/L-2HGA), which results in elevated D- and L-2HG accumulation. Because this disorder is caused by mutations in the mitochondrial citrate transporter (CIC), citrate must somehow govern 2HG metabolism in healthy cells. The mechanism linking citrate and 2HG, however, remains unknown. Here, we use the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster to elucidate a metabolic link between citrate transport and L-2HG accumulation. Our study reveals that the Drosophila gene scheggia (sea), which encodes the fly CIC homolog, dampens glycolytic flux and restricts L-2HG accumulation. Moreover, we find that sea mutants accumulate excess L-2HG owing to elevated lactate production, which inhibits L-2HG degradation by interfering with L-2HG dehydrogenase activity. This unexpected result demonstrates that citrate indirectly regulates L-2HG stability and reveals a feedback mechanism that coordinates L-2HG metabolism with glycolysis and the tricarboxylic acid cycle. Finally, our study also suggests a potential strategy for preventing L-2HG accumulation in human patients with CIC deficiency.

Publication Date:
Sep 21 2018
Date Submitted:
Jun 28 2019
Disease Models and Mechanisms
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 Record created 2019-06-28, last modified 2019-07-24

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