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Lactate as a major epigenetic carbon source for histone acetylation via nuclear LDH metabolism

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An, Yong Jin; Jo, Sihyang; Kim, Jin-Mo; Kim, Han Sun; Kim, Hyun Young; Jeon, Sang-Min; Han, Dawool; Yook, Jong In; Kang, Keon Wook; Park, Sunghyouk

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Experimental & Molecular Medicine, Vol.55 No.10, pp.2238-2247
Histone acetylation involves the transfer of two-carbon units to the nucleus that are embedded in low-concentration metabolites. We found that lactate, a high-concentration metabolic byproduct, can be a major carbon source for histone acetylation through oxidation-dependent metabolism. Both in cells and in purified nuclei, C-13(3)-lactate carbons are incorporated into histone H4 (maximum incorporation: similar to 60%). In the purified nucleus, this process depends on nucleus-localized lactate dehydrogenase (LDHA), knockout (KO) of which abrogates incorporation. Heterologous expression of nucleus-localized LDHA reverses the KO effect. Lactate itself increases histone acetylation, whereas inhibition of LDHA reduces acetylation. In vitro and in vivo settings exhibit different lactate incorporation patterns, suggesting an influence on the microenvironment. Higher nuclear LDHA localization is observed in pancreatic cancer than in normal tissues, showing disease relevance. Overall, lactate and nuclear LDHA can be major structural and regulatory players in the metabolism-epigenetics axis controlled by the cell's own status or the environmental status.
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  • College of Pharmacy
  • Department of Pharmacy
Research Area Cancer Origin, Metabolism, Toxicology


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