SIRT3 Opposes Reprogramming of Cancer Cell Metabolism through HIF1α Destabilization

Lydia W.S. Finley, Arkaitz Carracedo, Jaewon Lee, Amanda Souza, Ainara Egia, Jiangwen Zhang, Julie Teruya-Feldstein, Paula I. Moreira, Sandra M. Cardoso, Clary B. Clish, Pier Paolo Pandolfi, Marcia C. Haigis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

613 Scopus citations


Tumor cells exhibit aberrant metabolism characterized by high glycolysis even in the presence of oxygen. This metabolic reprogramming, known as the Warburg effect, provides tumor cells with the substrates required for biomass generation. Here, we show that the mitochondrial NAD-dependent deacetylase SIRT3 is a crucial regulator of the Warburg effect. Mechanistically, SIRT3 mediates metabolic reprogramming by destabilizing hypoxia-inducible factor-1α (HIF1α), a transcription factor that controls glycolytic gene expression. SIRT3 loss increases reactive oxygen species production, leading to HIF1α stabilization. SIRT3 expression is reduced in human breast cancers, and its loss correlates with the upregulation of HIF1α target genes. Finally, we find that SIRT3 overexpression represses glycolysis and proliferation in breast cancer cells, providing a metabolic mechanism for tumor suppression.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)416-428
Number of pages13
JournalCancer Cell
Issue number3
StatePublished - 8 Mar 2011
Externally publishedYes


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