Functional metabolic screen identifies 6-phosphofructo-2-kinase/fructose-2,6-biphosphatase 4 as an important regulator of prostate cancer cell survival


Alterations in metabolic activity contribute to the proliferation and survival of cancer cells. We investigated the effect of siRNA-mediated gene silencing of 222 metabolic enzymes, transporters, and regulators on the survival of 3 metastatic prostate cancer cell lines and a nonmalignant prostate epithelial cell line. This approach revealed significant complexity in the metabolic requirements of prostate cancer cells and identified several genes selectively required for their survival. Among these genes was 6-phosphofructo-2-kinase/fructose-2,6-biphosphatase 4 (PFKFB4), an isoform of phosphofructokinase 2 (PFK2). We show that PFKFB4 is required to balance glycolytic activity and antioxidant production to maintain cellular redox balance in prostate cancer cells. Depletion of PFKFB4 inhibited tumor growth in a xenograft model, indicating that it is required under physiologic nutrient levels. PFKFB4 mRNA expression was also found to be greater in metastatic prostate cancer compared with primary tumors. Taken together, these results indicate that PFKFB4 is a potential target for the development of antineoplastic agents.

Journal details

Volume 2
Issue number 4
Pages 328-343
Publication date