Phosphoglycerate dehydrogenase (PHGDH), the first rate-limiting enzyme of serine synthesis, is frequently overexpressed in human cancer. PHGDH overexpression activates serine synthesis to promote cancer progression. Currently, PHGDH regulation in normal cells and cancer is not well understood. Parkin, an E3 ubiquitin ligase involved in Parkinson’s disease, is a tumor suppressor. Parkin expression is frequently downregulated in many types of cancer, and its tumor-suppressive mechanism is poorly defined. Here, we show that PHGDH is a substrate for Parkin-mediated ubiquitination and degradation. Parkin interacted with PHGDH and ubiquitinated PHGDH at lysine 330, leading to PHGDH degradation to suppress serine synthesis. Parkin deficiency in cancer cells stabilized PHGDH and activated serine synthesis to promote cell proliferation and tumorigenesis, which was largely abolished by targeting PHGDH with RNA interference, CRISPR/Cas9 KO, or small-molecule PHGDH inhibitors. Furthermore, Parkin expression was inversely correlated with PHGDH expression in human breast cancer and lung cancer. Our results revealed PHGDH ubiquitination by Parkin as a crucial mechanism for PHGDH regulation that contributes to the tumor-suppressive function of Parkin and identified Parkin downregulation as a critical mechanism underlying PHGDH overexpression in cancer.
Juan Liu, Cen Zhang, Hao Wu, Xiao-Xin Sun, Yanchen Li, Shan Huang, Xuetian Yue, Shou-En Lu, Zhiyuan Shen, Xiaoyang Su, Eileen White, Bruce G. Haffty, Wenwei Hu, Zhaohui Feng