Cancer-Associated IDH1 Promotes Growth and Resistance to Targeted Therapies in the Absence of Mutation

Andrea E. Calvert, Alexandra Chalastanis, Yongfei Wu, Lisa A. Hurley, Foteini Kouri, Yingtao Bi, Maureen Kachman, Jasmine L. May, Elizabeth Thomas Bartom, Youjia Hua, Rama K Mishra, Gary E Schiltz, Oleksii Dubrovskyi, Andrew P. Mazar, Marcus Ernst Peter, Hongwu Zheng, Charles David James, Charles F. Burant, Navdeep Chandel, Ramana V DavuluriCraig Michael Horbinski, Alexander H Stegh*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

150 Scopus citations


Oncogenic mutations in two isocitrate dehydrogenase (IDH)-encoding genes (IDH1 and IDH2) have been identified in acute myelogenous leukemia, low-grade glioma, and secondary glioblastoma (GBM). Our in silico and wet-bench analyses indicate that non-mutated IDH1 mRNA and protein are commonly overexpressed in primary GBMs. We show that genetic and pharmacologic inactivation of IDH1 decreases GBM cell growth, promotes a more differentiated tumor cell state, increases apoptosis in response to targeted therapies, and prolongs the survival of animal subjects bearing patient-derived xenografts (PDXs). On a molecular level, diminished IDH1 activity results in reduced α-ketoglutarate (αKG) and NADPH production, paralleled by deficient carbon flux from glucose or acetate into lipids, exhaustion of reduced glutathione, increased levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS), and enhanced histone methylation and differentiation marker expression. These findings suggest that IDH1 upregulation represents a common metabolic adaptation by GBMs to support macromolecular synthesis, aggressive growth, and therapy resistance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1858-1873
Number of pages16
JournalCell reports
Issue number9
StatePublished - May 30 2017


  • EGFR
  • GBM
  • differentiation
  • lipids
  • metabolism
  • reactive oxygen species (ROS)
  • targeted therapy
  • wild-type IDH1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology


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