1H-NMR metabolomics analysis identifies hypoxanthine as a novel metastasis-associated metabolite in breast cancer

Sarra B. Shakartalla, Naglaa S. Ashmawy, Mohammad H. Semreen, Bahgat Fayed, Zainab M. Al Shareef, Manju N. Jayakumar, Saleh Ibrahim, Mohamed Rahmani, Rania Hamdy, Sameh S.M. Soliman

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Breast cancer is one of the leading causes of death in females, mainly because of metastasis. Oncometabolites, produced via metabolic reprogramming, can influence metastatic signaling cascades. Accordingly, and based on our previous results, we propose that metabolites from highly metastatic breast cancer cells behave differently from less-metastatic cells and may play a significant role in metastasis. For instance, we aim to identify these metabolites and their role in breast cancer metastasis. Less metastatic cells (MCF-7) were treated with metabolites secreted from highly metastatic cells (MDA-MB-231) and the gene expression of three epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) markers including E-cadherin, N-cadherin and vimentin were examined. Some metabolites secreted from MDA-MB-231 cells significantly induced EMT activity. Specifically, hypoxanthine demonstrated a significant EMT effect and increased the migration and invasion effects of MCF-7 cells through a hypoxia-associated mechanism. Hypoxanthine exhibited pro-angiogenic effects via increasing the VEGF and PDGF gene expression and affected lipid metabolism by increasing the gene expression of PCSK-9. Notably, knockdown of purine nucleoside phosphorylase, a gene encoding for an important enzyme in the biosynthesis of hypoxanthine, and inhibition of hypoxanthine uptake caused a significant decrease in hypoxanthine-associated EMT effects. Collectively for the first time, hypoxanthine was identified as a novel metastasis-associated metabolite in breast cancer cells and represents a promising target for diagnosis and therapy.

    Original languageBritish English
    Article number253
    JournalScientific Reports
    Issue number1
    StatePublished - Dec 2024


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