Ganglioside GD2 is specifically expressed in small-cell lung cancer (SCLC) cells, leading to enhancement of malignant phenotypes, such as cell proliferation and migration. However, how GD2 promotes malignant phenotypes in SCLC cells is not well known. In this study, to reveal the mechanisms by which GD2 increases malignant phenotypes in SCLC cells, we used enzyme-mediated activation of radical sources combined with mass spectrometry in GD2+ SCLC cells. Consequently, we identified ASC amino acid transporter 2 (ASCT2), a major glutamine transporter, which coordinately works with GD2. We showed that ASCT2 was highly expressed in glycolipid-enriched microdomain/rafts in GD2+ SCLC cells, and colocalized with GD2 in both proximity ligation assay and immunocytostaining, and bound with GD2 in immunoprecipitation/TLC immunostaining. Malignant phenotypes of GD2+ SCLC cells were enhanced by glutamine uptake, and were suppressed by L-γ-glutamyl-p-nitroanilide, a specific inhibitor of ASCT2, through reduced phosphorylation of p70 S6K1 and S6. These results suggested that ASCT2 enhances glutamine uptake in glycolipid-enriched microdomain/rafts in GD2+ SCLC cells, leading to the enhancement of cell proliferation and migration through increased phosphorylation of the mTOR complex 1 signaling axis.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cancer Research