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Both Enantiomers of 2-Hydroxyglutarate Modulate the Metabolism of Cultured Human Neuroblastoma Cells.

Elevated levels of D-2-hydroxyglutarate (D-2HG) and L-2-hydroxyglutarate (L-2HG) in the brain are associated with various pathological conditions, potentially contributing to neurological symptoms and neurodegeneration. Previous studies on animal models have revealed their capability to interfere with several cellular processes, including mitochondrial metabolism. Both enantiomers competitively inhibit the enzymatic activity of 2-oxoglutarate-dependent dioxygenases. These enzymes also execute several signaling cascades and regulate the level of covalent modifications on nucleic acids or proteins, e.g., methylation, hydroxylation, or ubiquitination, with an effect on epigenetic regulation of gene expression, protein stability, and intracellular signaling. To investigate the potential impact of 2HG enantiomers on human neuronal cells, we utilized the SH-SY5Y human neuroblastoma cell line as a model. We employed proton nuclear magnetic resonance (1 H-NMR) spectroscopy of culture media that provided high-resolution insights into the changes in the content of metabolites. Concurrently, we performed biochemical assays to complement the 1 H-NMR findings and to estimate the activities of lactate and 3-hydroxybutyrate dehydrogenases. Our results reveal that both 2HG enantiomers can influence the cellular metabolism of human neuroblastoma cells on multiple levels. Specifically, both enantiomers of 2HG comparably stimulate anaerobic metabolism of glucose and inhibit the uptake of several essential amino acids from the culture media. In this respect, both 2HG enantiomers decreased the catabolism capability of cells to incorporate the leucine-derived carbon atoms into their metabolism and to generate the ketone bodies. These results provide evidence that both enantiomers of 2HG have the potential to influence the metabolic and molecular aspects of human cells. Furthermore, we may propose that increased levels of 2HG enantiomers in the brain parenchyma may alter brain metabolism features, potentially contributing to the etiology of neurological symptoms in patients.

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