Cellular signals converge at the NOX2-SHP-2 axis to induce reductive carboxylation in cancer cells

Rukang Zhang, Dong Chen, Hao Fan, Rong Wu, Jiayi Tu, Freya Q. Zhang, Mei Wang, Hong Zheng, Cheng Kui Qu, Shannon E. Elf, Brandon Faubert, Yu Ying He, Marc B. Bissonnette, Xue Gao, Ralph J. DeBerardinis, Jing Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Environmental stresses, including hypoxia or detachment for anchorage independence, or attenuation of mitochondrial respiration through inhibition of electron transport chain induce reductive carboxylation in cells with an enhanced fraction of citrate arising through reductive metabolism of glutamine. This metabolic process contributes to redox homeostasis and sustains biosynthesis of lipids. Reductive carboxylation is often dependent on cytosolic isocitrate dehydrogenase 1 (IDH1). However, whether diverse cellular signals induce reductive carboxylation differentially or through a common signaling converging node remains unclear. We found that induction of reductive carboxylation commonly requires enhanced tyrosine phosphorylation and activation of IDH1, which, surprisingly, is achieved by attenuation of a cytosolic protein tyrosine phosphatase, Src homology region 2 domain-containing phosphatase-2 (SHP-2). Mechanistically, diverse signals induce reductive carboxylation by converging at upregulation of NADPH oxidase 2, leading to elevated cytosolic reactive oxygen species that consequently inhibit SHP-2. Together, our work elucidates the signaling basis underlying reductive carboxylation in cancer cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1200-1208.e6
JournalCell Chemical Biology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 21 2022


  • NADPH oxidase 2 (NOX2)
  • Src homology region 2 domain-containing phosphatase-2 (SHP-2)
  • cytosolic reactive oxygen species (ROS)
  • isocitrate dehydrogenase 1 (IDH1)
  • reductive carboxylation
  • tyrosine phosphorylation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Pharmacology
  • Drug Discovery
  • Clinical Biochemistry


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