Summary of Study ST000058

This data is available at the NIH Common Fund's National Metabolomics Data Repository (NMDR) website, the Metabolomics Workbench,, where it has been assigned Project ID PR000055. The data can be accessed directly via it's Project DOI: 10.21228/M83S3W This work is supported by NIH grant, U2C- DK119886.


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Study IDST000058
Study TitleMetabolite changes associated with methionine stress sensitivity of cancer (GC TOF MS analysis)
Study Typetimecourse study
Study SummaryThis West Coast Metabolomics Center pilot and feasibility project granted to Peter Kaiser (UC Irvine), aims to achieve understanding of a unique metabolic dependence of cancer cells to explore development of novel unconventional therapeutic strategies that exploit dependence of cancer cells on methyl-donor abundance. The past few years have highlighted the role of altered metabolism in cancer. While mechanistic insight into changed metabolism in cancer is very limited, the importance of the metabolic pathway surrounding homocysteine and methionine for cancer cell proliferation has been known for over 30 years. These findings, generally summarized as methionine-dependence or methionine stress sensitivity, describe the phenomenon that most cancer cells cannot proliferate in growth medium where the amino acid methionine is replaced with its direct metabolic precursor homocysteine. Importantly, non-tumorigenic cells are unaffected by replacing methionine with homocysteine in the growth medium. For the past years we have been studying methionine dependence of breast and prostate cancer and demonstrated that methionine-dependence is caused by insufficient flux through this pathway to sustain synthesis of the downstream metabolite and the principal methyl-donor S-adenosylmethionine (SAM). We have isolated rare cell clones from MDA-MB468 breast cancer cells (referred to as MB468RES) that are no longer methionine dependent and proliferate in homocysteine medium. Interestingly, MB468RES have lost their ability for anchorage independent growth, a hallmark of cancer. The MB468 and MB468RES cell line pair confirms other observations showing that methionine dependence is tightly linked to tumorigenicity. Importantly, this cell line pair is an ideal model to identify metabolite signatures linked to cancer cell methionine dependence. We propose to characterize the metabolic changes triggered by the shift from normal growth medium to homocysteine medium in MB468 breast cancer cells and the methionine stress insensitive MB468RES derivatives. In addition we have developed cancer cell lines with inducible shRNAs targeting methionine adenosyltransferase (MAT), the enzyme catalyzing synthesis of SAM from methionine and ATP. Inducible knockdown of MAT allows us to specifically reduce SAM synthesis. Our previous results suggest that SAM limitation is the critical trigger for cancer cell methionine dependence. Thus metabolite profiling using the MAT knockdown system will provide an independent dataset that together with metabolite profiles from the MB468 and MB468RES cell line pair will define critical metabolic profiles related to cancer cell methionine dependence.   In the current investigation, untargeted analysis of primary metabolites and complex lipids, coupled with quantitative analysis of methionine pathway intermediates (folate and respective derivatives, s-adenosylmethoinine, s-adenosylhomocysteine, choline, betaine) and metabolic flux will be conducted on MB468, MB468RES and MB468shRNA following the switch from methionine containing media to homocysteine containing media over the course of 0, 2, 4, 8, 12, 24 and 48 hours.   The primary objectives were to 1) characterize the metabolic response to methionine stress and SAM limitation and 2) correlate the metabolic signatures with cancer cell proliferation arrest and death. 
University of California, Davis
DepartmentGenome and Biomedical Sciences Facility
LaboratoryWCMC Metabolomics Core
Last NameFiehn
First NameOliver
Address1315 Genome and Biomedical Sciences Facility 451 Health Sciences Drive Davis, CA 95616
Phone(530) 754-8258
Submit Date2014-06-11
Num Groups8
Total Subjects30
Study Comments2014-01-09 11:02:41.515
Raw Data AvailableYes
Raw Data File Type(s)cdf
Uploaded File Size1.3 G
Analysis Type DetailGC-MS
Release Date2014-07-11
Release Version1
Oliver Fiehn Oliver Fiehn application/zip

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Combined analysis:

Analysis ID AN000096
Analysis type MS
Chromatography type GC
Chromatography system Agilent 6890N
Column Restek Corporation Rtx-5Sil MS
MS Type EI
MS instrument type GC-TOF
MS instrument name Leco GC-TOF
Units Peak area


Chromatography ID:CH000064
Methods Filename:Data_Dictionary_Fiehn_laboratory_GCTOF_MS_primary_metabolism_10-15-2013_general.pdf
Instrument Name:Agilent 6890N
Column Name:Restek Corporation Rtx-5Sil MS
Column Pressure:7.7 PSI (initial condition)
Column Temperature:50 - 330C
Flow Rate:1 ml/min
Injection Temperature:50C ramped to 250C by 12C/s
Sample Injection:0.5l
Oven Temperature:50C for 1 min, then ramped at 20C/min to 330C, held constant for 5 min
Transferline Temperature:230C
Washing Buffer:Ethyl Acetate
Sample Loop Size:30 m length x 0.25 mm internal diameter
Randomization Order:Excel generated
Chromatography Type:GC