The lncRNA MALAT1, acting through HIF-1α stabilization, enhances arsenite-induced glycolysis in human hepatic L-02 cells.Biochim Biophys Acta 2016; 1862(9):1685-95BB
Accelerated glycolysis, a common process in tumor cells called the Warburg effect, is associated with various biological phenomena. However, the role of glycolysis induced by arsenite, a well-established human carcinogen, is unknown. Long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) act as regulators in various cancers, but how lncRNAs regulate glucose metabolism remains largely unexplored. We have found that, in human hepatic epithelial (L-02) cells, arsenite increases lactate production; glucose consumption; and expression of glycolysis-related genes, including HK-2, Eno-1, and Glut-4. In L-02 cells exposed to arsenite, the lncRNA, metastasis-associated lung adenocarcinoma transcript 1 (MALAT1), and hypoxia inducible factors (HIFs)-α, the transcriptional regulators of cellular response to hypoxia, are over-expressed. In addition, HIF-1α, not HIF-2α, is involved in arsenite-induced glycolysis, and MALAT1 enhances arsenite-induced glycolysis. Although MALAT1 regulates HIF-α and promotes arsenite-induced glycolysis, MALAT1 promotes glycolysis through HIF-1α, not HIF-2α. Moreover, arsenite-increased MALAT1 enhances the disassociation of Von Hippel-Lindau (VHL) tumor suppressor from HIF-1α, alleviating VHL-mediated ubiquitination of HIF-1α, which causes accumulation of HIF-1α. In sum, these findings indicate that MALAT1, acting through HIF-1α stabilization, is a mediator that enhances glycolysis induced by arsenite. These results provide a link between the induction of lncRNAs and the glycolysis in cells exposed to arsenite, and thus establish a previously unknown mechanism for arsenite-induced hepatotoxicity.