Monday, April 30, 2018

Dimethyl fumarate targets GAPDH and aerobic glycolysis to modulate immunity

Michael D. Kornberg, Pavan Bhargava, Paul M. Kim, Vasanta Putluri, Adele M. Snowman, Nagireddy Putluri, Peter A. Calabresi Solomon H. Snyder

Science, 2018: eaan4665
DOI: 10.1126/science.aan4665

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Activated immune cells undergo a metabolic switch to aerobic glycolysis akin to the Warburg effect, thereby presenting a potential therapeutic target in autoimmune disease. Dimethyl fumarate (DMF), a derivative of the Krebs cycle intermediate fumarate, is an immunomodulatory drug used to treat multiple sclerosis and psoriasis. Although its therapeutic mechanism remains uncertain, DMF covalently modifies cysteine residues in a process termed succination. We found that DMF succinates and inactivates the catalytic cysteine of the glycolytic enzyme glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPDH) in mice and humans, both in vitro and in vivo. It thereby down-regulates aerobic glycolysis in activated myeloid and lymphoid cells, which mediates its anti-inflammatory effects. Our results provide mechanistic insight into immune modulation by DMF and represent a proof of concept that aerobic glycolysis is a therapeutic target in autoimmunity.

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