Methylglyoxal, a glycolysis side-product, induces Hsp90 glycation and YAP-mediated tumor growth and metastasis

Marie-Julie Nokin, Florence Durieux, Paul Peixoto, Barbara Chiavarina, Olivier Peulen, Arnaud Blomme, Andrei Turtoi, Brunelle Costanza, Nicolas Smargiasso, Dominique Baiwir, Jean L. Scheijen, Casper G. Schalkwijk, Justine Leenders, Pascal De Tullio, Elettra Bianchi, Marc Thiry, Koji Uchida, David A. Spiegel, James R. Cochrane, Craig A. HuttonEdwin De Pauw, Philippe Delvenne, Dominique Belpomme, Vincent Castronovo, Akeila Bellahcene*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Metabolic reprogramming toward aerobic glycolysis unavoidably induces methylglyoxal (MG) formation in cancer cells. MG mediates the glycation of proteins to form advanced glycation end products (AGEs). We have recently demonstrated that MG-induced AGEs are a common feature of breast cancer. Little is known regarding the impact of MG-mediated carbonyl stress on tumor progression. Breast tumors with MG stress presented with high nuclear YAP, a key transcriptional co-activator regulating tumor growth and invasion. Elevated MG levels resulted in sustained YAP nuclear localization/activity that could be reverted using Carnosine, a scavenger for MG. MG treatment affected Hsp90 chaperone activity and decreased its binding to LATS1, a key kinase of the Hippo pathway. Cancer cells with high MG stress showed enhanced growth and metastatic potential in vivo. These findings reinforce the cumulative evidence pointing to hyperglycemia as a risk factor for cancer incidence and bring renewed interest in MG scavengers for cancer treatment.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere19375
Publication statusPublished - 19 Oct 2016

Cite this