NADPH is a critical reductant needed in cancer cells to fuel the biosynthesis of deoxynucleotides and antioxidants and to sustain stress-survival responses after radiation-induced DNA damage. Thus, one rational strategy to attack cancer cells is to target their heavy reliance on NADPH. Here, we report that the isocitrate dehydrogenase IDH1 is the most strongly upregulated NADPH-producing enzyme in glioblastoma (GBM). IDH1 silencing in GBM cells reduced levels of NADPH, deoxynucleotides, and glutathione and increased their sensitivity to radiation-induced senescence. Rescuing these metabolic restrictions was sufficient to reverse IDH1-mediated radiosensitization. In a murine xenograft model of human GBM, we found that IDH1 silencing significantly improved therapeutic responses to fractionated radiotherapy, when compared with either treatment alone. In summary, our work offers a mechanistic rationale for IDH1 inhibition as a metabolic strategy to improve the response of GBM to radiotherapy. Cancer Res; 77(4); 960–70. ©2016 AACR.
Note: Supplementary data for this article are available at Cancer Research Online (http://cancerres.aacrjournals.org/).
- Received August 1, 2016.
- Revision received November 22, 2016.
- Accepted November 22, 2016.
- ©2016 American Association for Cancer Research.