Teleological Role of L-2-Hydroxyglutarate Dehydrogenase in the Kidney.

Academic Article


  • L-2-hydroxyglutarate (L-2HG) is an oncometabolite found elevated in renal tumors. However, this molecule may have physiologic roles that extend beyond its association with cancer as L-2HG levels are elevated in response to hypoxia and during Drosophila larval development. L-2HG is known to be metabolized by L-2HG dehydrogenase (L2HGDH), and loss of L2HGDH leads to elevated L-2HG levels. Despite being highly expressed in the kidney, L2HGDH's role in renal metabolism has not been explored. Here, we report our findings utilizing a novel CRISPR/Cas9 murine knockout model with a specific focus on the role of L2HGDH in the kidney. Histologically, L2hgdh KO kidneys have no demonstrable histologic abnormalities. However, GC/MS metabolomics demonstrates significantly reduced levels of the TCA cycle intermediate succinate in multiple tissues. Isotope labeling studies with [U-13C] glucose demonstrate that restoration of L2HGDH in renal cancer cells (which lowers L-2HG) leads to enhanced incorporation of label into TCA cycle intermediates. Subsequent biochemical studies demonstrate that L-2HG can inhibit the TCA cycle enzyme α-ketoglutarate dehydrogenase. Bioinformatic analysis of mRNA expression data from renal tumors demonstrates that L2HGDH is co-expressed with genes encoding TCA cycle enzymes as well as the gene encoding the transcription factor PGC-1α, which is known to regulate mitochondrial metabolism. Restoration of PGC-1α in renal tumor cells results in increased L2HGDH expression with a concomitant reduction if L-2HG levels. Collectively, our studies provide new insight into the physiologic role for L2HGDH as well as mechanisms that promote L-2HG accumulation in disease states.
  • Published In


  • L-2-Hydroxyglutarate Dehydrogenase, L-2-hydroxyglutarate, PPARG coactivator 1-α, TCA cycle
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    Author List

  • Brinkley G; Nam H; Shim E; Kirkman R; Kundu A; Karki S; Heidarian Y; Tennessen JM; Liu J; Locasale JW