Intracellular NAD(H) levels control motility and invasion of glioma cells


Oncogenic transformation involves reprogramming of cell metabolism, whereby steady-state levels of intracellular NAD+ and NADH can undergo dramatic changes while ATP concentration is generally well maintained. Altered expression of nicotinamide phosphoribosyltransferase (NAMPT), the rate-limiting enzyme of NAD+-salvage, accompanies the changes in NAD(H) during tumorigenesis. Here, we show by genetic and pharmacological inhibition of NAMPT in glioma cells that fluctuation in intracellular [NAD(H)] differentially affects cell growth and morphodynamics, with motility/invasion capacity showing the highest sensitivity to [NAD(H)] decrease. Extracellular supplementation of NAD+ or re-expression of NAMPT abolished the effects. The effects of NAD(H) decrease on cell motility appeared parallel coupled with diminished pyruvate-lactate conversion by lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) and with changes in intracellular and extracellular pH. The addition of lactic acid rescued and knockdown of LDH-A replicated the effects of [NAD(H)] on motility. Combined, our observations demonstrate that [NAD(H)] is an important metabolic component of cancer cell motility. Nutrient or drug-mediated modulation of NAD(H) levels may therefore represent a new option for blocking the invasive behavior of tumors.

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We thank Dr. Joost van Schalkwijk and Dr. William Leenders for providing glioma cell lines, Dr. Frank van Leeuwen for NAMPT cDNA, and Dr. Wiljan Hendriks and Dr. Ad de Groof for helpful discussions. This study was supported by Grant KUN-2005-3333 from the Dutch Cancer Society (to BW), Grant Sto 654/3-2 from the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (to CS and AS), an EMBO Short Term Fellowship and a Vanderes Foundation Research Grant (number 225) (to RvH) and by grants from the Italian Association for Cancer Research (AIRC) and the European Union’s Seventh Framework Program (Grant No. 237946) (to RB).

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Correspondence to Bé Wieringa.

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van Horssen, R., Willemse, M., Haeger, A. et al. Intracellular NAD(H) levels control motility and invasion of glioma cells. Cell. Mol. Life Sci. 70, 2175–2190 (2013) doi:10.1007/s00018-012-1249-1

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  • NAD(H)
  • Cancer metabolism
  • Migration
  • Invasion
  • Lactic acid