ME2 promotes proneural–mesenchymal transition and lipogenesis in glioblastoma


  • M. Yang
  • X. Chen
  • J. Zhang
  • E. Xiong
  • Q. Wang
  • W. Fang
  • L. Li
  • F. Fei
  • A. Gong


  • Frontiers in Oncology


  • Front Oncol 11: 715593


  • Malic enzyme 2 (ME2) catalyzes the formation of pyruvate from malic acid and is abnormally expressed in some tumors. However, the exact effects of ME2 on proneural–mesenchymal transition (PMT) and lipogenesis in glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) remain unexplored. Here, we found that ME2 expression was significantly higher in GBM than in normal brain tissues and negatively correlated with overall survival of patients with GBM. Furthermore, we demonstrated that ME2 was positively correlated with mesenchymal features in GBM and promoted proliferation, migration, and invasion of glioma cells. Moreover, ME2 upregulated the expression of mesenchymal markers (N-cadherin, vimentin, YKL40, and MET), whereas it inhibited the expression of proneural maker OLIG2, indicating that ME2 might promote PMT in GBM. We also found that ME2 inhibited the production of mitochondrial reactive oxygen species and AMPK phosphorylation, resulting in SREBP-1 maturation and nuclear localization and enhancing the ACSS2 lipogenesis pathway. Taken together, these results suggest that ME2 promotes PMT and is linked with reprogramming of lipogenesis via AMPK–SREBP-1–ACSS2 signaling in GBM. Therefore, ME2 has potential as a new classification marker in GBM and could provide a new approach to glioma treatment.