D2HGDH regulates alpha-ketoglutarate levels and dioxygenase function by modulating IDH2

An Ping Lin, Saman Abbas, Sang Woo Kim, Manoela Ortega, Hakim Bouamar, Yissela Escobedo, Prakash Varadarajan, Yuejuan Qin, Jessica Sudderth, Eduard Schulz, Alexander Deutsch, Sumitra Mohan, Peter Ulz, Peter Neumeister, Dinesh Rakheja, Xiaoli Gao, Andrew Hinck, Susan T. Weintraub, Ralph J DeBerardinis, Heinz SillPatricia L M Dahia, Ricardo C T Aguiar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

56 Scopus citations


Isocitrate dehydrogenases (IDH) convert isocitrate to alpha-ketoglutarate (α-KG). In cancer, mutant IDH1/2 reduces α-KG to D2-hydroxyglutarate (D2-HG) disrupting α-KG-dependent dioxygenases. However, the physiological relevance of controlling the interconversion of D2-HG into α KG, mediated by D2-hydroxyglutarate dehydrogenase (D2HGDH), remains obscure. Here we show that wild-type D2HGDH elevates α-KG levels, influencing histone and DNA methylation, and HIF1α hydroxylation. Conversely, the D2HGDH mutants that we find in diffuse large B-cell lymphoma are enzymatically inert. D2-HG is a low-abundance metabolite, but we show that it can meaningfully elevate α-KG levels by positively modulating mitochondrial IDH activity and inducing IDH2 expression. Accordingly, genetic depletion of IDH2 abrogates D2HGDH effects, whereas ectopic IDH2 rescues D2HGDH-deficient cells. Our data link D2HGDH to cancer and describe an additional role for the enzyme: the regulation of IDH2 activity and α-KG-mediated epigenetic remodelling. These data further expose the intricacies of mitochondrial metabolism and inform on the pathogenesis of D2HGDH-deficient diseases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number7768
JournalNature communications
StatePublished - Jul 16 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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