Metabolic pathways are reprogrammed in cancer to support cell survival. Here, we report that T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL) cells are characterized by increased oxidative phosphorylation and robust ATP production. We demonstrate that ORP4L is expressed in T-ALL but not normal T-cells and its abundance is proportional to cellular ATP. ORP4L acts as an adaptor/scaffold assembling CD3ϵ, Gαq/11 and PLCβ3 into a complex that activates PLCβ3. PLCβ3 catalyzes IP3 production in T-ALL as opposed to PLCγ1 in normal T-cells. Up-regulation of ORP4L thus results in a switch in the enzyme responsible for IP3-induced endoplasmic reticulum Ca2+ release and oxidative phosphorylation. ORP4L knockdown results in suboptimal bioenergetics, cell death and abrogation of T-ALL engraftment in vivo. In summary, we uncovered a signalling pathway operating specifically in T-ALL cells in which ORP4L mediates G protein-coupled ligand-induced PLCβ3 activation, resulting in an increase of mitochondrial respiration for cell survival. Targeting ORP4L might represent a promising approach for T-ALL treatment.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Physics and Astronomy(all)