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The serine synthesis pathway (SSP) is active in multiple cancers. Previous study has shown that bortezomib (BTZ) resistance is associated with an increase in the SSP in multiple myeloma (MM) cells; however, the underlying mechanisms of SSP-induced BTZ resistance remain unclear. In this study, we found that phosphoglycerate dehydrogenase (PHGDH), the first rate-limiting enzyme in the SSP, was significantly elevated in CD138+ cells derived from patients with relapsed MM. Moreover, high PHGDH conferred inferior survival in MM. We also found that overexpression of PHDGH in MM cells led to increased cell growth, tumour formation, and resistance to BTZ in vitro and in vivo, while inhibition of PHGDH by short hairpin RNA or NCT-503, a specific inhibitor of PHGDH, inhibited cell growth and BTZ resistance in MM cells. Subsequent mechanistic studies demonstrated PHGDH decreased reactive oxygen species (ROS) through increasing reduced glutathione (GSH) synthesis, thereby promoting cell growth and BTZ resistance in MM cells. Furthermore, adding GSH to PHGDH silenced MM cells reversed S phase arrest and BTZ-induced cell death. These findings support a mechanism in which PHGDH promotes proliferation and BTZ resistance through increasing GSH synthesis in MM cells. Therefore, targeting PHGDH is a promising strategy for MM therapy. © 2020 British Society for Haematology and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


Xuan Wu, Jiliang Xia, Jingyu Zhang, Yinghong Zhu, Yangbowen Wu, Jiaojiao Guo, Shilian Chen, Qian Lei, Bin Meng, Chunmei Kuang, Xiangling Feng, Yanjuan He, Yi Shen, Xin Li, Lugui Qiu, Guancheng Li, Wen Zhou. Phosphoglycerate dehydrogenase promotes proliferation and bortezomib resistance through increasing reduced glutathione synthesis in multiple myeloma. British journal of haematology. 2020 Jul;190(1):52-66

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PMID: 32037523

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