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07 2017 Nature communications

Collagen-derived proline promotes pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma cell survival under nutrient limited conditions.


Olivares O, Mayers JR, Gouirand V, Torrence ME, Gicquel T, Borge L, Lac S, Roques J, Lavaut MN, Berthezène P, Rubis M, Secq V, Garcia S, Moutardier V, Lombardo D, Iovanna JL, Tomasini R, Guillaumond F, Vander Heiden MG, Vasseur S


Tissue architecture contributes to pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) phenotypes. Cancer cells within PDAC form gland-like structures embedded in a collagen-rich meshwork where nutrients and oxygen are scarce. Altered metabolism is needed for tumour cells to survive in this environment, but the metabolic modifications that allow PDAC cells to endure these conditions are incompletely understood. Here we demonstrate that collagen serves as a proline reservoir for PDAC cells to use as a nutrient source when other fuels are limited. We show PDAC cells are able to take up collagen fragments, which can promote PDAC cell survival under nutrient limited conditions, and that collagen-derived proline contributes to PDAC cell metabolism. Finally, we show that proline oxidase (PRODH1) is required for PDAC cell proliferation in vitro and in vivo. Collectively, our results indicate that PDAC extracellular matrix represents a nutrient reservoir for tumour cells highlighting the metabolic flexibility of this cancer.

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