Wiel C, Le Gal K, Ibrahim MX, Jahangir CA, Kashif M, Yao H, Ziegler DV, Xu X, Ghosh T, Mondal T, Kanduri C, Lindahl P, Sayin VI, Bergo MO
Cell 178 (2) 330-345.e22 [2019-07-00; online 2019-07-00]
For tumors to progress efficiently, cancer cells must overcome barriers of oxidative stress. Although dietary antioxidant supplementation or activation of endogenous antioxidants by NRF2 reduces oxidative stress and promotes early lung tumor progression, little is known about its effect on lung cancer metastasis. Here, we show that long-term supplementation with the antioxidants N-acetylcysteine and vitamin E promotes KRAS-driven lung cancer metastasis. The antioxidants stimulate metastasis by reducing levels of free heme and stabilizing the transcription factor BACH1. BACH1 activates transcription of Hexokinase 2 and Gapdh and increases glucose uptake, glycolysis rates, and lactate secretion, thereby stimulating glycolysis-dependent metastasis of mouse and human lung cancer cells. Targeting BACH1 normalized glycolysis and prevented antioxidant-induced metastasis, while increasing endogenous BACH1 expression stimulated glycolysis and promoted metastasis, also in the absence of antioxidants. We conclude that BACH1 stimulates glycolysis-dependent lung cancer metastasis and that BACH1 is activated under conditions of reduced oxidative stress.