Genomic GLO1 deletion modulates TXNIP expression, glucose metabolism, and redox homeostasis while accelerating human A375 malignant melanoma tumor growth

Jana Jandova, Georg T. Wondrak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Glyoxalase 1 (encoded by GLO1) is a glutathione-dependent enzyme detoxifying the glycolytic byproduct methylglyoxal (MG), an oncometabolite involved in metabolic reprogramming. Recently, we have demonstrated that GLO1 is overexpressed in human malignant melanoma cells and patient tumors and substantiated a novel role of GLO1 as a molecular determinant of invasion and metastasis in melanoma. Here, employing NanoString™ gene expression profiling (nCounter™ ‘PanCancer Progression Panel’), we report that CRISPR/Cas 9-based GLO1 deletion from human A375 malignant melanoma cells alters glucose metabolism and redox homeostasis, observable together with acceleration of tumorigenesis. Nanostring™ analysis identified TXNIP (encoding thioredoxin-interacting protein), a master regulator of cellular energy metabolism and redox homeostasis, displaying the most pronounced expression change in response to GLO1 elimination, confirmed by RT-qPCR and immunoblot analysis. TXNIP was also upregulated in CRISPR/Cas9-engineered DU145 prostate carcinoma cells lacking GLO1, and treatment with MG or a pharmacological GLO1 inhibitor (TLSC702) mimicked GLO1_KO status, suggesting that GLO1 controls TXNIP expression through regulation of MG. GLO1_KO status was characterized by (i) altered oxidative stress response gene expression, (ii) attenuation of glucose uptake and metabolism with downregulation of gene expression (GLUT1, GFAT1, GFAT2, LDHA) and depletion of related key metabolites (glucose-6-phosphate, UDP-N-acetylglucosamine), and (iii) immune checkpoint modulation (PDL1). While confirming our earlier finding that GLO1 deletion limits invasion and metastasis with modulation of EMT-related genes (e.g. TGFBI, MMP9, ANGPTL4, TLR4, SERPINF1), we observed that GLO1_KO melanoma cells displayed a shortened population doubling time, cell cycle alteration with increased M-phase population, and enhanced anchorage-independent growth, a phenotype supported by expression analysis (CXCL8, CD24, IL1A, CDKN1A). Concordantly, an accelerated growth rate of GLO1_KO tumors, accompanied by TXNIP overexpression and metabolic reprogramming, was observable in a SCID mouse melanoma xenograft model, demonstrating that A375 melanoma tumor growth and metastasis can be dysregulated in opposing ways as a consequence of GLO1 elimination.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number101838
JournalRedox Biology
StatePublished - Feb 2021


  • Glucose transporter 1
  • Glyoxalase 1
  • Malignant melanoma
  • NanoString nCounter™ expression profiling
  • Thioredoxin-interacting protein
  • Tumorigenesis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Organic Chemistry
  • Clinical Biochemistry


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