Phospholipase D1 and choline kinase-α are interactive targets in breast cancer

Mayur Gadiya, Noriko Mori, Maria D. Cao, Yelena Mironchik, Samata Kakkad, Ingrid S. Gribbestad, Kristine Glunde, Balaji Krishnamachary, Zaver M. Bhujwalla

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


A consistent metabolic hallmark observed in multiple cancers is the increase of cellular phosphocholine (PC) and total choline-containing compounds (tCho), which is closely related to malignant transformation, invasion, and metastasis. Enzymes in choline phospholipid metabolism present attractive targets to exploit for treatment, but require a clear understanding of the mechanisms underlying the altered choline phospholipid metabolism observed in cancer. Choline kinase-α (Chk-α) is an enzyme in the Kennedy pathway that phosphorylates free choline (Cho) to PC, and its upregulation in several cancers is a major contributor to increased PC levels. Similarly, increased expression and activity of phospholipase D1 (PLD1), which converts phosphatidylcholine (PtdCho) to phosphatidic acid (PA) and Cho, has been well documented in gastric, ovarian and breast cancer. Here we report a strong correlation between expression of Chk-α and PLD1 with breast cancer malignancy. Data from patient samples established an association between estrogen receptor (ER) status and Chk-α and PLD1 expression. In addition, these two enzymes were found to be interactive. Downregulation of Chk-α with siRNA increased PLD1 expression, and downregulation of PLD1 increased Chk-α expression. Simultaneous silencing of PLD1 and Chk-α in MDA-MB-231 cells increased apoptosis as detected by the TUNEL assay. These data provide new insights into choline phospholipid metabolism of breast cancer, and support multiple targeting of enzymes in choline phospholipid metabolism as a strategy for treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)593-601
Number of pages9
JournalCancer Biology and Therapy
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2014


  • Breast cancer
  • Choline kinase-alpha
  • Magnetic resonance spectroscopy
  • Phospholipase D1
  • RNA interference

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Oncology
  • Pharmacology
  • Cancer Research


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