Wild-type IDH2 promotes the Warburg effect and tumor growth through HIF1α in lung cancer

Jiangjiang Li, Ya He, Zheqiong Tan, Jingchen Lu, Liling Li, Xin Song, Feng Shi, Longlong Xie, Shuo You, Xiangjian Luo, Namei Li, Yueshuo Li, Xiaolan Liu, Min Tang, Xinxian Weng, Wei Yi, Jia Fan, Jian Zhou, Gao Qiang, Shuang Jian QiuWeizhong Wu, Ann M. Bode, Ya Cao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations


Hotspot mutations of isocitrate dehydrogenase 1 and 2 (IDH1/2) have been studied in several cancers. However, the function of wild-type IDH2 in lung cancer and the mechanism of its contribution to growth of cancer cells remain unknown. Here, we explored the role and mechanism of wild-type IDH2 in promoting growth of lung cancer. Methods: Information regarding genomic and clinical application focusing on IDH2 in cancer was examined in several databases of more than 1,000 tumor samples. IDH2 expression was assessed by immunohistochemistry in tissues from lung cancer patients. The biological functions of IDH2 were evaluated by using cell-based assays and in vivo xenograft mouse models. Results: Here we reported that wild-type IDH2 is up-regulated and is an indicator of poor survival in lung cancer and several other cancers. Targeting IDH2 with shRNA resulted in decreased HIF1α expression, leading to the attenuation of lung cancer cell proliferation and tumor growth. Treatment of lung cancer cells with AGI-6780 (a small molecule inhibitor of IDH2), PX-478 (an inhibitor of HIF1α) or incubation with octyl-α-KG inhibited lung cancer cell proliferation. Conclusion: IDH2 promotes the Warburg effect and lung cancer cell growth, which is mediated through HIF1α activation followed by decreased α-KG. Therefore, IDH2 could possibly serve as a novel therapeutic target for lung cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4050-4061
Number of pages12
Issue number15
StatePublished - 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by The National Basic Research Program of China (No. 2011CB504305) and the Natural Science Foundation of Hunan Province (No. 14JJ3039).

Publisher Copyright:
© Ivyspring International Publisher.


  • HIF1-α
  • Isocitrate dehydrogenase 2
  • Lung cancer
  • Tumor growth
  • Warburg effect


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