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Metabolic reprogramming regulated by TRAF6 contributes to the leukemia progression.

Leukemia 2024 April 13
TNF receptor associated factor 6 (TRAF6) is an E3 ubiquitin ligase that has been implicated in myeloid malignancies. Although altered TRAF6 expression is observed in human acute myeloid leukemia (AML), its role in the AML pathogenesis remains elusive. In this study, we showed that the loss of TRAF6 in AML cells significantly impairs leukemic function in vitro and in vivo, indicating its functional importance in AML subsets. Loss of TRAF6 induces metabolic alterations, such as changes in glycolysis, TCA cycle, and nucleic acid metabolism as well as impaired mitochondrial membrane potential and respiratory capacity. In leukemic cells, TRAF6 expression shows a positive correlation with the expression of O-linked N-acetylglucosamine (O-GlcNAc) transferase (OGT), which catalyzes the addition of O-GlcNAc to target proteins involved in metabolic regulation. The restoration of growth capacity and metabolic activity in leukemic cells with TRAF6 loss, achieved through either forced expression of OGT or pharmacological inhibition of O-GlcNAcase (OGA) that removes O-GlcNAc, indicates the significant role of O-GlcNAc modification in the TRAF6-related cellular and metabolic dynamics. Our findings highlight the oncogenic function of TRAF6 in leukemia and illuminate the novel TRAF6/OGT/O-GlcNAc axis as a potential regulator of metabolic reprogramming in leukemogenesis.

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