Context-dependent activation of SIRT3 is necessary for anchorage-independent survival and metastasis of ovarian cancer cells.

Yeon Soo Kim, Piyushi Gupta-Vallur, Victoria M. Jones, Beth L. Worley, Sara Shimko, Dong Hui Shin, La Taijah C. Crawford, Chi Wei Chen, Katherine M. Aird, Thomas Abraham, Trevor G. Shepherd, Joshua I. Warrick, Nam Y. Lee, Rebecca Phaeton, Karthikeyan Mythreye, Nadine Hempel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Cells must alter their antioxidant capacity for maximal metastatic potential. However, the antioxidant adaptations required for transcoelomic metastasis, which is the passive dissemination of cancer cells in the peritoneal cavity as seen in ovarian cancer, have largely remained unexplored. Contradicting the need for oxidant scavenging by tumor cells is the observation that expression of the nutrient stress sensor and regulator of mitochondrial antioxidant defenses, SIRT3, is suppressed in many primary tumors. We discovered that this mitochondrial deacetylase is however, upregulated in a context-dependent manner in cancer cells. SIRT3 activity and expression transiently increased following ovarian cancer cell detachment and in tumor cells derived from malignant ascites of high-grade serous adenocarcinoma patients. Mechanistically, SIRT3 prevents mitochondrial superoxide surges in detached cells by regulating the manganese superoxide dismutase SOD2. This mitochondrial stress response is under dual regulation by SIRT3. SIRT3 rapidly increases SOD2 activity as an early adaptation to cellular detachment, which is followed by SIRT3-dependent transcriptional increases in SOD2 during sustained anchorage-independence. In addition, SIRT3 inhibits glycolytic capacity in anchorage-independent cells thereby contributing to metabolic changes in response to detachment. While manipulation of SIRT3 expression has few deleterious effects on cancer cells in attached conditions, SIRT3 up-regulation and SIRT3-mediated oxidant scavenging following matrix detachment are required for anoikis resistance in vitro, and both SIRT3 and SOD2 are necessary for colonization of the peritoneal cavity in vivo. Our results highlight the novel context-specific, pro-metastatic role of SIRT3 in ovarian cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalUnknown Journal
StatePublished - Jun 13 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)
  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Context-dependent activation of SIRT3 is necessary for anchorage-independent survival and metastasis of ovarian cancer cells.'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this