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Original article (peer-reviewed)

Journal FASEB J
Volume (Issue) 32
Page(s) 2690 - 2705
Title of proceedings FASEB J
DOI 10.1096/fj.201700870rr

Open Access

Type of Open Access Publisher (Gold Open Access)


Hexose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (H6PD) produces reduced NADPH in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) lumen. NADPH constitutes a cofactor for many reducing enzymes, and its inability to traverse biologic membranes makes in situ synthesis of NADPH in the ER lumen indispensable. The H6PD gene is amplified in several types of malignancies, and earlier work pointed toward a potential involvement of the enzyme in cancer cell growth. In the present study, we demonstrated a pivotal role of H6PD in proliferation and migratory potential of 3 human breast cancer cell lines. Knockdown of H6PD decreased proliferation and migration in SUM159, MCF7, and MDA-MB-453 cells. To understand the mechanism through which H6PD exerts its effects, we investigated the cellular changes after H6PD silencing in SUM159 cells. Knockdown of H6PD resulted in an increase in ER lumen oxidation, and down-regulation of many components of the unfolded protein response, including the transcription factors activating transcription factor-4, activating transcription factor-6, split X-box binding protein-1, and CCAAT/enhancer binding protein homologous protein. This effect was accompanied by an increase in sarco/endoplasmic reticulum Ca2+-ATPase-2 pump expression and an decrease in inositol trisphosphate receptor-III, which led to augmented levels of calcium in the ER. Further characterization of the molecular pathways involving H6PD could greatly broaden our understanding of how the ER microenvironment sustains malignant cell growth.—Tsachaki, M., Mladenovic, N., Štambergová, H., Birk, J., Odermatt, A. Hexose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase controls cancer cell proliferation and migration through pleiotropic effects on the unfolded protein response, calcium homeostasis, and redox balance.